Christine Daniels: A Woman in Progress, a complete human

Waking up to read about the recent remarks made by homophobe Republican Florida State Rep. D. Alan Hays (“I had a cousin who died of AIDS. He was queer as a three-dollar bill. He had that homosexual lifestyle and deserved what he got.”) it’s easy to begin the day feeling that so many in the U.S. won’t be happy until we’re all living in caves and smacking each other with sticks.

And then I read the work of L.A. Times sportswriter Christine Daniels and feel quite a bit better about where humanity is heading.

It was on April 27, 2007, Daniels left behind her former identity as Mike Penner to begin a new life, announcing it to the world in the article “Old Mike, New Christine”.
Christine Daniels

During my 23 years with The Times’ sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame.

Today I leave for a few weeks’ vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine.

Daniels’ words were not only the definition of bravery and strength, but they were also colored with the humor and humanity that has marked her career as a sportswriter in one of the world’s largest markets.

I broke the news to Tim by beginning, “Are you familiar with the movie ‘Transamerica’?” Tim nodded.

“Well, welcome to my life,” I said.

Tim seemed more perplexed than most as I nervously launched into my story.

Finally, he had to explain, “I thought you said ‘Trainspotting.’ I thought you were going to tell me you’re a heroin addict.”

The article is by all means a must-read, and truly award worthy. Since returning to her job, Daniels has started a blog for the Times, titled “Woman in Progress: Christine Daniels on Life Changes Big and Small” which discusses everything from her meeting with a former colleague – Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated – to her correspondence with other women she’s touched, to her recreational soccer team’s first game. It is touching, funny, informative blog and Daniels’ words leap off the screen.

In the end, it could come down to one simple phrase made by Daniels: “Chicks dig talking sports.”

But Daniels’ work and spectacular openness is much more than sports, or even gender change. It is about what is good about humanity, and proof we may not end up back in caves, after all.

–WKW

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15 Comments

Filed under 07_wolfrum

15 responses to “Christine Daniels: A Woman in Progress, a complete human

  1. Pingback: William K. Wolfrum » Blog Archive » Christine Daniels: A Woman in Progress, and a complete human

  2. Eep. That’s wonderful. There is yet hope for the species.

  3. Melissa McEwan

    Good stuff.

  4. I read the LA Times sports pages (hey, I’m a Dodgers fan, what can I say?) and I’ve seen a link to her blog prominently displayed. Now I’ll have to go read it.

    Thanks, I guess.

  5. Pete Jones

    Yeah, well the messed up fucker is dead now. So much for your good feelings.

  6. abby

    Pete Jones sounds like one of the cruel, heartless people who make life difficult for people like Christine.

    I’m so sorry that Christine felt that this was the only option she had left. My condolences to her family.

  7. Yeah, I’m sure it was the heartlessness and cruelty, not to mention the opressive bigotry of American society, especially that in staunchly conservative California, that drove this guy to commit suicide. Couldn’t possibly have been anything like a mental illness. Nosiree.

    He was still a man when he died. People around here have pronoun trouble.

  8. Pingback: BelchSpeak » Post Topic » Tranny Sports Writer Becomes “An Hero”

  9. Pingback: Should We Remember Mike Penner or Christine Daniels? - The Sexist - Washington City Paper

  10. Renetta Tomas

    Sadly, if I was inclined to spend my days energetically kicking the backsides of every “Pete Jones” or “Belchspeak” I encountered up around their shoulder blades – I’d be busy 24-7. You haters are so brave in your anonymity aren’t you? Belchspeak (gawd, now there’s a perfect handle for a knuckle-dragging moron!)

    If you run into me “in the real life” shooting your mouth off to dishonor the dead – trust me you’ll know it from the foot up your ass.

  11. So, you think its “hateful” to point out that someone’s obvious cries for mental health treatment went un-noticed, but its perfectly fine to promise violent treatment of anyone that points out these things?

    You are the mayor of whacky world Renetta. Now there’s a name that has no meaning.

  12. Pingback: Mike And Christine « Alan Colmes' Liberaland

  13. Pingback: Mike & Christine « Equal Rights For All « William K. Wolfrum Chronicles

  14. I notice the knowing of this subject matter is strong and thorough. What a delicacy to locate another person writing that not merely possesses understanding but also the ability to communicate through easy to picture and remember info-bytes. Write much more!

  15. Pingback: Something interesting today? - Celebrity Pictures With Jennifer Garner And Ben Affleck

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