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Check out LA Times sportwriter Christine Daniels' transition blog

Christine Daniels, formerly known to readers of the sports pages at the Los Angeles Times as Mike Penner, announced her gender transition to readers on April 27. She has decided to document her journey in a blog at the paper, Woman in Progress. Go girl!

Here’s a taste of what Christine has in store for readers.

Now that I’ve changed my email address, I’d like to address my email.

Or, rather, one email in particular.

Ninety-nine-point-and-then-some percent of the messages I have received in the last week, my first week out as Christine, have been supportive, sympathetic, encouraging, understanding, touching, and moving — basically, the most overwhelmingly pleasant shock of my life. I would like to individually thank everyone who has written, but if I did, I’d get even less sleep than I did before my concerned psychiatrist wrote me up a prescription for a sleeping aid on Tuesday.

  I never expected anything close to this sort of response.

In fact, on the eve of my coming-out column’s publication, I feared I would be hit with more of the kind of email Mike from Rancho Santa Margarita lobbed my way a couple days ago.

From Mike:

“I have long considered the Times’ sports page to be the best in the state, if not the nation. However, I am appalled and disgusted at your column on Thursday, April 26. To say that humans are ‘wired’ that way is just denying absolute truth. I know that in today’s secular progressive society, we’re taught to ‘accept’ everyone, but this is going beyond acceptance. We are being asked to accept something that is morally repulsive. In no way is this anywhere near normal human behavior. I have prayed for you, and will continue to do so. I have always admired your writing, but I will no longer read any article written by you. I am by no means advocating your firing. Instead, I felt it necessary to make you aware that your actions are Biblically unacceptable.”

Ahem.

(Picture Christine now rolling up her sleeves, stretching her fingers and rubbing hands together as she digs in behind her keyboard.)

Read her reply after the flip.Christine spells it out for Mike…

Rebuttal time:

Dear Mike,

I don’t know what Bible you’re using, but you might want to check the pull-date on that one. My Bible is the same one used by my pastor, who has counseled me throughout the early stages of my transition, helping me to stay on track and continue moving forward, because that is the plan God has for me.

My transition has rekindled my spirituality, I am happy to say. Often, too much focus gets placed on the physical changes brought about by a transsexual’s transition — through hormones, electrolysis and surgery. More than anything, my transition has been a spiritual journey, soul-searching and intense introspection accompanying every step of the way.

Why is my soul filled with so much feminine energy?

Why was I given such an agonizing burden to carry?

Did God simply decide it was time to draft a high-profile journalist with communication skills and a powerful platform for the task of spreading the message of transgender tolerance and acceptance_ a message that was long and painfully overdue?

Who can say? I do know this: God loves transgender people. He created transgender people. In some cultures – the world does not begin and end at U.S. borders, despite what our current administration thinks _ transgender people are considered closer to God. They are revered as “two spirited” by these cultures, who often turn to transgender people as their spiritual healers and shamen.

I attend church every week. My church and clergy are more than supportive of my transition. In fact, they have encouraged it.

My pastor has told me repeatedly, “Christine, God created you the way you are. He made you a special person. He put you on this journey for a reason. By completing your journey and becoming the person God intended you to be, you are honoring Him.”

Secure in my spirituality,
Christine

Go read Christine’s latest entry, Coach Christine returns, a touching look at what it’s like for Christine to return to coaching a men’s soccer team that she had coached (as Mike) since 1995. 

Hat tip, Michele.

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Pam Spaulding

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