Requiem for a Transsexual Sportswriter

There has been plenty of media coverage on the death of LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who for a time was known as Christine Daniels.

The most recent example is “Requiem for a Transsexual Sportswriter” by Jacob Bernstein, a senior reporter for The Daily Beast. It gives a detailed view into the last few months and days of Mike Penner.

Here’s an excerpt:

So it came as yet another shock when Daniels resumed life as Mike Penner about a year after the transition, and it came as even more of one when he killed himself around Thanksgiving. Why would a person, whose friends and colleagues were so seemingly supportive, feel so alone about his gender identity that he would decide to commit suicide? …

What Daniels didn’t know then—what she couldn’t possibly have known, this early in her transition—was just how grueling the hormones can be or what effect being the most prominent American transsexual since tennis player Renée Richards would have on her life.

It’s a problem that at least a few of Penner’s friends and advisers identified. Namely, how does Mike successfully become Christine if she’s stuck permanently with a banner that says “used to be a man”?

As sad as it is to read, this article is a welcome addition to the conversation.

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