Friday, April 27, 2007

LA Times Sports Writer Announces Transition

The LGBT rights movement contains an untold number of unsung heroes who continue to push its collective agenda forward in their own way. They are not the 'paid gays' who regularly appear on CNN or in the New York Times as talking heads, the porn stars who make token appearances at organizational fundraisers and benefits, or those who live in Chelsea, West Hollywood or in the Castro who continue to insulate themselves from the realities with which the vast majority of LGBT Americans continue to live. These unsung heroes are those who advance the movement at great personal or professional risk.

Los Angeles Times sports reporter Christine Daniels is one of these unsung heroes. The veteran reporter and columnist, known to readers as Mike Penner, announced in a column yesterday she will transition into a woman.

"Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation... as Christine," Daniels wrote.

Daniels' disclosure is not newsworthy in an ideal world but sports remains an entity plagued by homophobia and transphobia. Daniels' reporting, however, provided her a unique opportunity to discuss her own transition -- and challenge these pervasive attitudes head-on that have compelled countless other LGBT people to remain in the closet. Daniels shows true courage many may claim the broader LGBT movement lacks in its current incarnation.

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