Thursday, April 26, 2007

The New Adventures Of New Christine.

Unusual little story in the L.A. Times sports section today, and the big boys are already all over it, but it's still remarkable enough to expound upon: sportswriter Mike Penner is no more -- Christine Daniels will be taking his place. Usually, this would be considered part of a severance package, with the recent cuts the Tribune Co. has made to the paper (another 150 jobs axed this week), but not this time. Penner is a transsexual, and will become Christine fairly soon.

I can't really cut text from it this time, and won't, because the whole thing is worth reading, but of course, it raises the usual questions about sports, the macho context behind them, and whether Christine will be able to do the job that Mike did based on those assumptions. I surmise the rules are different for sportswriters -- it will be considered odd rather than an affront to those she will cover because Daniels is a journalist. The odds are that people and teams Penner has covered are already kind of used to it, because pre-op transsexuals are told to go around as the gender they will switch to for a year before the surgery.

Honestly, I wish Mike the best of luck in becoming Christine -- that is a painful process to have to deal with over decades and then to get ready for a new life.

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