Transsexual LA Times Sportswriter Found Dead

Shelby Grad of the L.A. TIMES reports today:

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.

Christine Daniels

 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.

When he made the transformation, Penner wrote, “I am a transsexual sportswriter. 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.” Read more…

Mike Penner Throws Christine Back In The Closet

Kevin Roderick of highly-respected reports late Monday that “Eighteen month after writing a column about becoming Christine Daniels, veteran sportswriter Mike Penner has quietly returned to work at the Los Angeles Times, according to multiple sources close to the LAT’s Sports staff.

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

Besides the LOS ANGELES TIMES itself, SbB was first with the news that Penner had changed his identity to a female. After that, he contributed to the LAT’s sports section and also wrote another newly-created column about his/her life experiences. ALL of those blog entries have been wiped from the site.

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

Penner also did several interviews at the time, but never went national, though he had offers from the TV talkshow circruit.

Now the question is, when does Penner return? And what is management saying about all this? Read more…

FX Network Buys Sportswriter Transsexual Pilot Then Dumps Premise

THERE GOES DANIELS’ 18-CENT ANNUAL RESIDUAL CHECK: The WASHINGTON POST reports the amusing news that “Nip/Tuck” creator Ryan Murphy recently “sold a pilot to FX network for a series called ‘4 Oz.,’ about the metamorphosis of a married sportswriter with children who comes to the realization he is a transsexual.

Christine Daniels

Sound familiar?

Of course, the premise is a complete rip-off of the recent plight of LOS ANGELES TIMES sportswriter Mike Penner, who earlier this year announced he was a transsexual and changed his name to Christine Daniels.

Like everyone else in Los Angeles, we’re assuming FX executives don’t read the L.A. TIMES, so they had no idea about the plight of Daniels until it was too late. They’ve since thrown Murphy’s premise down the stairs, with the show now centered on “a married-dad gynecologist practicing with his father who undergoes a sex-change operation.

The best part: A FX spokeshole lies tells the Post that “the change from sportswriter to gynecologist was made before Daniels penned her famous Los Angeles Times piece in April, formally announcing her new sex and name, though as recently as last month, news reports about the show in development called it a series about a sportswriter.

UPDATE: Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts and VARIETY sends over this story from Variety’s website that indicates the sportswriter angle for the show had been incubating before Daniels’ initial announcement.

We’re no conspiracy theorists, but might Murphy (the show’s creator) have known something about Penner/Daniels’ ordeal before the rest of the world - since both work out of SoCal? Yeah, we know, probably not.

Columnist Reports Transvestite Christine Daniels Not An Attractive Woman

COLUMNIST - LAT’S DANIELS “NOT AN ATTRACTIVE WOMAN“: Last Sunday was a landmark coming out party for a sports figure at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. No, not David Beckham. Try Christine Daniels (formerly Mike Penner), transvestite sports writer for the LOSS ANGELES TIMES.

Christine Daniels

Daniels covered her first in-person event since making the decision to publicly change gender three months ago.

Daniels describes the scene: “(David Beckham) arrived wearing a silver-gray Burberry suit, surrounded by a phalanx of assistants and yes-people…I arrived wearing a golden-hued top from Ross and a multi-colored paisley skirt from Ames and a pair of open-toed tan heels from Aerosoles, surrounded by nobody…

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

It was a big deal for me because I’d waited more than 25 years for this moment, dreaming about how it might play out if it ever came to be, if and when and fingers tightly crossed.

SAN BERNARDINO SUN columnist Paul Oberjuerge was on the scene to give an in-person account: “It seemed almost as we’re all going along with someone’s dress-up role playing.

I hate to be judgmental about these things, but Christine is not an attractive woman. Which probably isn’t a surprise when you’re 50 and have spent your in-the-world life as a fairly drab guy. Who has a fairly prominent Adam’s apple (not all of us do) … Who also isn’t exactly petite. Maybe 6-1, 200?

So … she looks like a guy in a dress, pretty much. Except anyone paying any attention isn’t going to be fooled — as some people are by veteran transvestites.

Christine Daniels Mike Penner Photo Los Angeles Times Transsexual Sportswriter

The thing is, and maybe this is cruel, but there were women in that room who were born women in body as well as soul. And the difference between them and Christine was, in my mind, fairly stark.

Christine Daniels Covers Anaheim Ducks Stanley Cup Triumph For Los Angeles Times

DANIELS COVERS COLOR AND HILITES OF DUCKS TRIUMPH: The LOS ANGELES TIMES fingered transsexual sportswriter Christine Daniels (who has glammed it in her new mugshot) to head online coverage of the Ducks’ Stanley Cup triumph last night in Anaheim.

Christine Daniels Anaheim Ducks

We’re guessing Daniels, who hasn’t covered a sports beat for years, was nowhere near the Honda Center (like us), but she did gleefully unveil the news from behind the Orange Curtain for us unfeeling Angelenos: “The Anaheim Ducks are Stanley Cup Champions. (Right now, Arte Moreno is on the phone with his attorneys — ‘Maybe we want to rethink this name thing.’ The Dodgers certainly are.

Anaheim Ducks

With just one postseason victory since 1988, Dodger management is reportedly thinking of a new strategy. Are you ready for ‘The Los Angeles Dodgers of Anaheim’?)

The Ducks are now officially our second entertainment option in Orange County. Now onto Daniels’ new “Women In Progress” column for the LAT - which reads much like a how-to guide for transsexuals.

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

On the first day that the former Mike Penner appeared as Christine Daniels in the LAT, this was her day’s highlight: “By 8 o’clock in the evening, I was walking away from my first-ever salon appointment — having been colored and highlighted, cut and curled, a bright golden-honey hue replacing what three hours earlier had been my usual dirty brown-and-gray. The hairstyle I’d waited a lifetime for.

Christine Daniels

And this from emailer “Michelle”: “It is amazing how many wonderful and supportive friends you have found since your announcement. As a girl in transition, it is the one thing that still scares me the most in that I don’t know if I have the types of friends who will support, or the type who will be judgemental, or simply disappear.

Speaking of disappearing, LAT users can (surprisingly) comment on the blog, which is an indication the newspaper has plenty of moderators standing on the delete key.

Christine Daniels Gender Reassignment Generates New Assignment JA Adande Requests Buyout

We’ve got a photo shoot coming later today (new pics will be up tonight), so here’s a roundup of what’s going on that will (hopefully) tide you over:

• GENDER REASSIGNMENT CREATES NEW LAT ASSIGNMENT: The LOS ANGELES TIMES notes on its website today, “Starting today, check out for Christine Daniels’ “Day in L.A.,” a daily column on the sports events, personalities and themes that matter most to Southern Californians.

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

Responsive, thoughtful, experienced commentary from one of the area’s most talented and versatile journalists, updated throughout the day as events happen.

Sounds like someone will be bookmarking SbB, DSpin, ASB, WL and TBL!’

Meanwhile, LA OBSERVED reports the L.A. Times recently introduced a huge inter-office promotional campaign (wot?) featuring gigantic photos of selected editorial staff in the elevators (wot?) of the Times building.

J.A. Adande Michael Wilbon

Notable omissions in the campaign: Daniels and J.A. Adande, who is apparently requesting a buyout.

• The wedding photographer who posted the Village People shot of Brady Quinn online responds to the ASSOCIATED PRESS, and tells A.J. Hawk to buzz off.

• BAYOU BUZZ reports Reggie Bush recently went to Spain to “film a commercial with global soccer star David Beckham.”

50 Cent Ciara Reggie Bush

Bush: “That was a lot of fun. We bascially were teaching each other about our different footballs and what to do with them. It was great to get over to Spain and see the different cultures and see parts of the world that I never expected to see when I was younger.

• Greg Oden last night after Dan Patrick jokingly (har har!) asked if he had “another job you can fall back on“: “I could probably break dance on the side of the street, make a couple of bucks here and there.

• The TORONTO SUN reminds us that before the De La Hoya fight, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., said UFC “ain’t nothing but a fad.

The Sun’s Jose Rodriguez notes UFC President Dana White “took offence and offered Mayweather a scrap against UFC lightweight champ Sean Sherk.” That forced the cowering Mayweather to “change his tune to say the comment was merely trying to build hype for his fight.

Chuck Liddell’s response to Mayweather’s false bravado: “(The) fact mainstream boxing is talking about the UFC shows they’re worried.

Liddell: “A few years ago, they wouldn’t have even mentioned us. Now they’re taking shots at us to try to sell more [PPVs]. That says a lot about how far we’ve come.

• SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Terry Lefton reports this week that Donovan McNabb participated in an ad shoot for Bruce Willis’ upcoming film
“Live Free or Die Hard.”

McNabb also had a “a role in last week’s lavish ESPN upfront presentation (and) McNabb and ESPN are getting chummy enough to contemplate a relationship that could include everything from using the QB as a sideline reporter on NBA games to being the host of the weekly highlights during ‘Monday Night Football’ telecasts.

Christine Daniels Transsexual Sportswriter Not Sure About Surgery Or Sexual Orientation

DANIELS NOT SURE ABOUT SURGERY OR SEX ORIENTATION: LOS ANGELES TIMES transsexual sportswriter Christine Daniels spoke to Steve Mason and John Ireland, hosts of KSPN-AM’s “Big Show”, yesterday and she addressed some questions most of us have about her transition from a male Mike Penner to a female Christine Daniels.

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

Three brief responses from Daniels from the interview (with audio links from KSPN-AM):

1) On if she is going to have surgery as part of her gender reassignment: “Nowhere did I say I was having surgery. The term ‘transition’ is not synonymous with surgery. Transition is defined as living and working full-time in your preferred gender. And that could mean surgery it or may not mean surgery. It usually means hormones. It certain means electrolysis.” (audio clip)

2) On whether she is attracted to men or women: “I don’t know yet. The needle’s kind of moving. Gender identity and sexual orientation are totally different things and I have trans friends who’ve gone through the whole transition process and they go into it attracted to women. Then they go through the hormones and surgery and they’re still attracted to women.” (audio clip)

3) On when she knew he was meant to be a female: “When I was four or five, I knew I was different and I was envious of girls and thought I would like to be one. At the same time I just felt very uncomfortable in the male role and was very shy, extremely shy. I didn’t like to fight and wasn’t really interested in sports until I was 11.” (audio clip)

In all three interviews Daniels has conducted on radio, she has not been asked about her wife, L.A. Times sportswriter Lisa Dillman. The two are divorcing and SbB has learned that Daniels will only appear on shows that agree not to ask about her marriage to Dillman and their pending divorce.

Christine Daniels Does Radio Interviews To Polish Up Her Act For Larry King Future Book Deal

DANIELS MIGHT GUEST ON LARRY KING; SCORE BOOK DEAL: LOS ANGELES TIMES transsexual sportswriter Christine Daniels, who is likely to appear on Larry King (and may have a book in the works), polished up her public relations act last weekend on radio, appearing on KLAC-AM with Lee Hamilton.

My favorite part of the interview was Hacksaw saying goodbye at the end of the visit:

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

Thank you, sir“.

You can also listen to Daniels’ interview on Sports Byline last Friday night by visiting the Wizard of Odds website.

The interview I want to hear: The wife of Daniels (the former Mike Penner), Lisa Dillman. Dillman and Daniels are divorcing and she refused to talk about her during the appearances (how confusing is that?).

Christine Daniels First Photo Posted On Los Angeles Times Transsexual Sportswriter Formerly Mike Penner

PHOTO OF TRANSSEXUAL SPORTSWRITER DANIELS POSTED: The first public photo of transsexual sportswriter Christine Daniels (formerly Mike Penner) has been posted on the LOS ANGELES TIMES website:

Christine Daniels Photo Mike Penner Los Angeles Times

The photo appears as part of Daniels’ blog called “Woman in Progress.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES sports staffer Jay Christiensen, who is also a host on Sports Byline’s nationally syndicated Friday night programming, will be the first person to publicly interview Daniels since her official transformation from Mike Penner - at 11:30PM PT tonight.

The LOS ANGELES TIMES also reports today that Lee Hamilton will air an interview with Daniels on his Sunday show on KLAC-AM.

More SbB Coverage of Mike Penner/Christine Daniels transformation:


First Christine Daniels Interview With Los Angeles Times Staffer Jay Christianson On Sports Byline Radio Friday Night

TIMES STAFFER SCORES FIRST DANIELS LIVE RADIO VISIT: LOS ANGELES TIMES sports staffer Jay Christiansen, who is also a host on Sports Byline’s nationally syndicated Friday night programming, will be the first person to publicly interview transsexual sportswriter Christine Daniels since her official transformation from Mike Penner - at 11:30PM PT.

Mike Penner Sports Byline

The LOS ANGELES TIMES also reports today that Lee Hamilton will air an interview with Daniels on his Sunday show on KLAC-AM.

More SbB Coverage of Mike Penner/Christine Daniels transformation: