Christine Daniels Gets Hate Mail

Sports by Brooks points out that the first photo of Christine Daniels — formerly Mike Penner — appears on the LA Times website alongside Daniels’ Woman in Progress blog. It was just a few weeks ago when Daniels stunningly announced she was a transexual. I applauded the courage of Daniels and still empathize with her for the difficult plight she’s endured. And as you would expect, she says she received some hate mail in regards to her announcement. Here is one such example:

From Mike:

“I have long considered the Times’ sports page to be the best in the state, if not the nation. However, I am appalled and disgusted at your column on Thursday, April 26. To say that humans are ‘wired’ that way is just denying absolute truth. I know that in today’s secular progressive society, we’re taught to ‘accept’ everyone, but this is going beyond acceptance. We are being asked to accept something that is morally repulsive. In no way is this anywhere near normal human behavior. I have prayed for you, and will continue to do so. I have always admired your writing, but I will no longer read any article written by you. I am by no means advocating your firing. Instead, I felt it necessary to make you aware that your actions are Biblically unacceptable.”

As you might imagine, Christine took Mike to task. Nicely done. If you would like to keep up with Daniels’ progress, I suggest you check out Woman in Progress.

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.