Mike Penner

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Mike Penner (October 10, 1957 – November 27, 2009) was a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times. Penner self-identified as being a transsexual in a 2007 column and returned from a vacation writing with the name Christine Daniels, before resuming his original name in 2008.

Early life and education

Born Michael Daniel Penner[1] in Inglewood, California, Penner graduated from Western High School in Anaheim, California and from California State University, Fullerton.[2]

Professional career

Penner began his journalism career at the Anaheim Bulletin as a writer and sports editor.[2] He then joined the Los Angeles Times in 1983 as a staff writer for the paper's Orange County edition. Initially reporting on high school sports, Penner went on to cover a variety of national and international sporting events including the Olympics, Major League Baseball, tennis, and (FIFA) World Cup soccer.[3]

Transsexualism writing

Later in his career, in addition to covering sports, Penner also began writing about transsexual identity and the process of gender transition from an autobiographical perspective. The first such piece he wrote for the Times was an essay entitled "Old Mike, new Christine" that appeared in the paper in April 2007. In it, he wrote about his lifelong struggle to come to terms with his transsexualism:

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. ... When you reach the point when one gender causes heartache and unbearable discomfort, and the other brings more joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined possible, it shouldn't take two tons of bricks to fall in order to know what to do. [4]

Mike Penner lived and wrote as Christine Daniels for more than a year, continuing to document his own experience with gender transition in the LA Times' blog "Woman in Progress." Daniels' writing became a source of hope for people across the country with gender-identity issues.[5]

Penner wrote as Christine Daniels from July 2007 until about March 2008; without elaboration, he resumed using Mike Penner as his byline in October 2008.[6]

Penner was a member of the Times' sports staff at the time of his death.

Personal life

Penner was at one time married to fellow Los Angeles Times sportswriter Lisa Dillman[7] although at the time of his death they were divorced.[8]

He announced in an April 26, 2007 column that he was a transsexual and intended to return from a vacation as Christine Daniels. Penner was found dead in his Los Angeles home on November 28, 2009 of an apparent suicide.[9]

Notes and References

  1. A writer's transformation makes the personal public Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2007
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Penner dies at 52; Los Angeles Times sportswriter Los Angeles Times, November 29, 2009
  3. "Mike Penner dies at 52; Los Angeles Times sportswriter", LA Times. Retrieved on November 29, 2009. 
  4. "Old Mike, new Christine", LA Times. Retrieved on November 29, 2009. 
  5. "Transsexual 'L.A. Times' Sportswriter Dead", National Public Radio. Retrieved on November 29, 2009. 
  6. "Mike Penner returns to Los Angeles Times", LA Observed. Retrieved on November 28, 2009. 
  7. "Transsexual sports columnist comes out.", Outsports, April 26, 2007. Retrieved on April 28, 2007. 
  8. "Mike Penner dies at 52; Los Angeles Times sportswriter", LA Times. Retrieved on November 29, 2009. 
  9. "Veteran Times sportswriter Mike Penner Dead", Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2009. Retrieved on November 28, 2009. 

External links

Articles after her suicide

Articles before her suicide


*Some information provided in whole or in part by http://en.wikipedia.org/