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.
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.
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.