Sunday, 29 November 2009

A Loss

Following up from a previous post, from the LA Times:
Mike Penner, the veteran Los Angeles Times sportswriter who made international headlines in 2007 when he announced he was transsexual and began working under the byline "Christine Daniels," has died.

Colleagues said today that Penner was found dead at his Los Angeles home and that suicide was the suspected cause of death. He was 52.
One in three of us don't make it. This is what that means in actuality. As Christine wrote:
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
There is a limit to Human endurance, you see. It was too hard for Mike to become Christine. But it was too hard for Christine to revert to being Mike too.

Why do I do what I do? Why am I an "activist" when it goes so much against my natural desire for a quiet life? Because of fellow human beings who have been what I've been through, and have had it worse. Or for some reason don't have the sheer orneriness, stubbornness, tenacity, obstinacy, call it what you will, that is a part of my essence.

Because some people can only cry a million tears before they run out. I appear to have limitless reserves there. I know, because I'm digging in to them now, before going on to try to help those who can still be helped. Knowing that I won't always succeed, but doing it anyway, because someone has to. I'm in a position to do it, so it's my turn. It hurts so much to lose, but it's not as if I didn't know the odds when I started.

Excelsior, and time to start moving that mountain again, a teaspoon at a time. Who knows, maybe a million tears will wear away the rock.


Battybattybats said...

"As the water grinds the stone
We rise and fall
As our ashes turn to dust
We shine like stars"

From Bullet, one of my favourite songs by Covenant.

The more we can get our community active on this we can erode this horrible phenomena.

Imogen said...

I'm very saddened by this. I survived two suicide attempts, so this is close to me :( .

Just me said...

what a shame.


igurl said...

It's a sad thing Zoe. We will miss her. I think there's a little of her struggle in all of us who have transitioned.

Ana said...

Looking at it the other way, there's also some of her struggle in those of us who have not transitioned. All in all, not a happy start to this week.

anoldfriend said...

You make some unfounded assumptions here. First there are no toxicology results, therefore suicide is not a foregone conclusion.

You like many others in this community glom on to the fact that Penner detransitioned and that somehow his death even if it was suicide you make some imagenary link between his detransition and the not determined suicide.

Has the following ever occured to you.
Penner could have died from natural causes.
Penner could have committed suicide because he may have found out he was going to die by some terminal illness and couldn't deal with it.

There are a whole long list of reasons why Penner died, but yet somehow it always ends up being all about transgender.

I am disappointed that someone with such a scientific mind would jump to such conclusions.

Zoe Brain said...

That had occurred to me, yes.

I can't say more at this point.

Zoe Brain said...

AOF - contact me privately on this one. There's more I know than I can say in public.

anoldfriend said...

If you have this information why not post it. If it's factual and not the usual Tee-Gee gossip there would be no harm done.

I take my anonymity seriously as like others we know I have received death threats and harassment from the true believers in the Tee-Gee community.
I respectfully decline.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the reason another person has comited suicide. We can not stop all suicide in the TG/TS comunity, but we can try. Now that the holiday season is on us it would be wise for all of us to be on extra watch on our friends and aquantences trans or normal. This is unfortunatly the suicide time of the year. Lets keep our loved ones alive to see many more holidays.



anoldfriend said...

I thought so Zoe, when it comes to the facts you always fall short.
I seriously doubt you have any information at all on Penner's death. which still has not been confirmed to be a suicide.

Loss of credibility.

Zoe Brain said...

I care more about respecting a confidence than credibility.

The information is out there to find out which Church Mike was attending. From there you can make your own inquiries, as I did.

Anonymous said...

A(non)OF: You might want to consider your own credibility, as you are hiding behind a name linked to a private profile.

Zoe: AOF has stated that they value their anonymity. AOFs anonymity is not important. You should tell us all who AOF really is. As long as the information you give us is truthful and accurate there is no harm done (even if AOF receives death threats once their identity is revealed).


anoldfriend said...

I am not the one making claims that Penner committed suicide when the responsible media says they don't know.

Where is the credibility in that?

By the way Zoe Did you see my reply over on Airi Blue's blog.

Battybattybats said...

Hi anoldfriend!

Indeed short of certain evidence for the cause of the suicide we will have only speculation. The probability if that cause going by the high rate of attempted suicide in the TG population may be suggestive, but indeed not certain.

Just like we can't say for certain that crossdressing is or is not biological or is or is not closely related in causality to TS. The anecdotal evidence of it running in some families in secret is suggestive, but the studies required to test it haven't been done yet to give a certain conclusion either way. Wouldn't you agree?

Now Zoe may have such certain evidence in this case, or merely be going with her assessment of probability. The reports on high incidence of attempted suicide however does mean that even were this case to turn out to be an exception to be prompted by it to address again this under-reported issue and to use the news to open up the subject to further awareness and encourage action on it would remain valid surely?

In fact there is a moral and in some cases ethical argument that can be made that those in any position to act once made aware of the massively high incidence of TG attempted suicide is obligated to act to reduce it or become responsible for the continued high incidence. Which if one accepts makes it appropriate to use any and every opportunity to bring the subject to greater awareness and action.

Zoe Brain said...

Sorry AOF, I didn't. Could you please do me a kindness and supply a URL? I have a lot on my plate at the moment.

When Mike de-transitioned, many of us attempted to give support. We heard nothing. So we contacted others around him. Until they go public, we can't.

And until some official announcement is made, all the info is at least second-hand anyway, and may not be correct. The important thing is to help those who still can be helped.

I lost a friend. That hurts, still. So pardon me if I try to bury myself in displacement activities.