TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

LA Times Sportswriter Mike Penner/Christine Daniels Dead Of Suspected Suicide

pendan.jpgVeteran sportswriter Mike Penner, who in 2007 changed his name to Christine Daniels, was found dead this past Friday. Suicide is the suspected cause of death.

Penner/Daniels made headlines when in April of 2007 he announced that he was transitioning his gender to female. S/he wrote about the transition process in an LA Times blog called “Woman In Progress” under his/her new name Christine Daniels. This frank and open approach to the transitioning process made Penner/Daniels something of a hero in the transgender community.

But the open approach didn’t last. Details are sketchy, but what is clear is that in October of 2008, Penner/Daniels began writing under the name Mike Penner again. Everything under the Christine Daniels byline was removed from the LAT website.


All of this happened without explanation, fueling speculation. USA Today called Penner/Daniels’ apparent return to life as a man a case of “transgender regret.” How much truth there was to that assessment is unclear, as Penner/Daniels never again spoke to the press about his/her gender identity.

What is clear is that the life of a transgender in our society is a difficult one. Penner/Daniels died exactly one week after the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international event held to memorialize those killed because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

Claire Noland of the LA Times wrote about Penner/Daniels:

He was not only a fine sportswriter, he was a friendly voice on the phone and a genuinely good person. Those of us who worked with him in The Times sports department knew every story he turned in had the potential to be the most entertaining read of the day.

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Starting August 18, learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career in our online boot camp, Freelancing 101! Through a series of weeklong webcasts, you'll hear from freelancing experts who will teach you the best practices for a solid freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and securing new clients. Register now!