Friday, 27 April 2007

Hi SportsFans!

"I am a transsexual sportswriter" says the LA Times' Mike Penner.
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. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That's OK. I understand that I am not the only one in transition as I move from Mike to Christine. Everyone who knows me and my work will be transitioning as well. That will take time. And that's all right. To borrow a piece of well-worn sports parlance, we will take it one day at a time.

Transsexualism is a complicated and widely misunderstood medical condition. It is a natural occurrence — unusual, no question, but natural.

Recent studies have shown that such physiological factors as genetics and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can significantly affect how our brains are "wired" at birth.

As extensive therapy and testing have confirmed, my brain was wired female.

A transgender friend provided the best and simplest explanation I have heard: We are born with this, we fight it as long as we can, and in the end it wins.
Yes. I know how she feels.

Christine is not the only sports writer to transition though. In 2005 Christina
stopped writing under the name "Chris Kahrl". Most readers of Baseball Prospectus didn't realise that her name had ever been anything else, a stealth "transition in plain sight".

Reaction to Christine's transition has been overwhelmingly supportive. That surprised me.

Some of us have independantly taken it upon ourselves to talk about the subject to Christine's peers over at SportsJournalists.Com. We've tried to educate rather than evangelise, to put a human face on the situation. Our reception was cordial, warm even. A follow-up article gave more details, and confirmed to some degree my speculation as to how long Christine had been in therapy, and on a hormone regime.

699. It is NOT natural. He has let the demonic perverseness of todays sick world take over his thinking. With liberal doctors and all, they can make anyone without faith and prayer most likely believe any of the devils lies. Wired at birth?? LOL! Prayer defeats ANYTHING. He should try that.
Submitted by: Mike
11:29 AM PDT, April 26, 2007
Oh well, there's always a Critic.

UPDATE: Christine now has a Blog at the LA Times.


Ted said...

I just saw this over at Off Wing Opinion and stopped in to see if you'd already posted about it. :) If not, I'd have dropped you an email.

Zoe Brain said...

I really should thank everyone who did e-mail me about this one before the post was published. For one thing, it refreshed a lot of old e-mail addresses I have from friends.

Thanks to everyone for thinking of me. It gave me warm fuzzies. Meanwhile, I've been doing a bit of education to Christine's peers, just trying to give them the facts and correct popular misconceptions.

Joseph said...

This might enable the start of an experimental test of one of my pet theories: that feminists are the female equivalent of sports fans. For example, the reaction to Lawrence Summers might have been a version of "KILL THE UMPIRE!"

So, if a m2f sportswriter becomes a particularly fanatical feminist...