Back to Mike

Posted by – October 21, 2008

It looks like the person we’ve all come to know as Christine Daniels is de-transitioning, and has returned to work as Mike Penner.

Kevin Roderick of highly-respected LAObserved.com reports late Monday that “Eighteen month after writing a column about becoming Christine Daniels, veteran sportswriter Mike Penner has quietly returned to work at the Los Angeles Times, according to multiple sources close to the LAT’s Sports staff.”

Anyone know any more than this? All of the articles/blog posts written by Christine Daniels are gone – sports ones, as well as the ones about the transition.

If anyone has more information, let me know. As far as I know, this is the most famous person to de-transition I’ve ever heard of, and it’s surely going to cause additional confusion to people who are just starting to get why people transition in the first place.

So – why do people de-transition? I’ve met people who did because they couldn’t find a job as a female, especially if/when there were dependents in the picture. Others realize they weren’t transsexual – and that is the point of RLT, after all, & that means it’s working. Any other reasons people have come across?

3 Comments on Back to Mike

  1. disobedientlib says:

    I don’t mean this as a judgment and obviously I have no clue as to Christine Daniels’ motivations, but I would hazard to guess that fear and stress and the social isolation that can come with transition might play a role in some people’s decision to de-transition.

    I also see, in a tiny, tiny percentage of trans and trans-exploring folk I chat with, a tendency to view transition, and surgery especially, as a fantasy cure-all; that if they are able to make that leap onto the path of transition, that all their problems and doubts and confusion will fall away once completed, which simply isn’t true. Transition helped me in many, many ways, but it certainly did not magically turn my life into a “happily ever after” one. This isn’t to say I believe that Christine or many others out there jump into transition blindly hoping to cure what ails them (most trans folk I know are, in my humble opinion, hyper-self-aware, informed and wise), but I think this kind of scenario can play a part. After all, just like any leap of faith, we can never really know if it’s our true path until we start down it.

    What I fear is that high profile de-transition cases like this, regardless of how extremely rare they are, will inevitably be used by the haters to further their arguments that we’re a disease that needs to be cured, and to continue widespread discrimination and condemnation against the trans community.

    As always, just my 3 cents, I could and often am, wrong. Peace,

    Dana

  2. helenboyd says:

    we’re discussing this on the MHB message boards:
    http://www.myhusbandbetty.com/.....hp?t=12823

  3. JanetP says:

    I am sadden to learn of Christine’s death, she was a brave sole and will be missed. I met Christine during my transition surgery.

    Transition is so very complicated and often rushed into without understanding (a year in gender is not enough) and full knowledge of its effect on our lives. I transitioned 10 years ago, and was blessed to remain with my partner (we still remain together and very much in love), I also continued working (and experienced both prejudice as a person of gender and also as a woman). We moved twice, yet I have not been able to make the transition become invisible; I/we still live in “some” fear of being discovered and work hard to preclude that from happening. I still get mail addressed to someone who does not exist (fear of exposure we don’t want). I even could not get water turned on in our new home because the utility person did a background check and had issues. I say this only to suggest the timeline is more than a year; it’s a lifetime at best! Despite this I am so very much happier than one could imagine but only with a strong ongoing support of my spouse, one of two daughters (lost one) and friends who know and “try to” understand. Without this, I am sure I would have also taken the sad road Christine appears to have taken.

    Transition is not the answer to our identity, education and support are far more important and often the ones most often overlooked in favor of transition! Aside from the physical differences (always with us) there is the much harder part of living a life; acceptance in society (which lacks understanding). I have seen too many boast of their transition; look to stand out bringing attention (shouting from the roof tops), or seek support from those who can’t give it or shouldn’t. The other (possibly the more important issue) is our lack of understanding of our vulnerability to society.

    Please let Christine’s death stand as a plea a statement for the need for education. We must understand who we are and where we are. To many transition only to find out that they’ve made a mistake!

    Janet

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