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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LA Times Writer Mike Penner Reveals His Transexuality

Wow, talk about something you don’t see everyday. As SPORTSbyBROOKS first pointed out, Mike Penner, who writes the LA Times Morning Briefing, which I tend to enjoy on a daily basis, revealed that he will be going away for a few weeks, and that when he returns he will be a female writing under the name Christine Daniels.

I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That’s OK. I understand that I am not the only one in transition as I move from Mike to Christine. Everyone who knows me and my work will be transitioning as well. That will take time. And that’s all right. To borrow a piece of well-worn sports parlance, we will take it one day at a time.

Transsexualism is a complicated and widely misunderstood medical condition. It is a natural occurrence — unusual, no question, but natural.

Recent studies have shown that such physiological factors as genetics and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can significantly affect how our brains are “wired” at birth.

As extensive therapy and testing have confirmed, my brain was wired female

I’m sure this is something Mike Penner has fought for a very long time no doubt. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have lived in his shoes for so long, knowing all along that something wasn’t right — that he was really wired as a female.

No jokes, no punchline, nothing funny here. This is an issue I’m glad I haven’t had to deal with, and it must’ve been harder than heck for him to have dealt with it. Additionally, he has put his entire career at risk by announcing the news, and he has most likely alienated several readers. The announcement was nothing short of courageous, and hopefully Christine will return from vacation as a much happier person. I know this will have no bearing on my continued enjoyment of the Morning Briefing, although I cannot speak for anyone else.

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