Penner, who had lived most of “his” life as a man, caused a national furor when, in 2007, he announced that he was going on vacation and coming back as Christine Daniels. “She” continued to work for the Times, and then inexplicably switched back to the “Mike Penner” byline fifteen months later. Penner was 52.
I don’t mean to make light of gender identity disorder, but I question why people, who are supposedly miserable as gender A, expect to just take a few weeks off and then try and re-enter the exact same past life as Gender B. And I don’t say that out of damnation, but I wonder how and why Christine finally allowed herself to escape from Mike Penner’s life…only to assume command of it, and seemingly changing nothing but her wardrobe. That’s a lot to ask of one person supposedly looking for a fresh start. And while others might have more scathing remarks than mine about transsexuality in America (whether expressed outwardly or otherwise), it’s hard to blame anyone for not giving Christine a chance when Mike couldn’t even do the same for her, either.