Another painful look at the death of Mike Penner/Christine Daniels, from the lens of L.A. Weekly


The current issue of L.A. Weekly that came out today contains a very thorough, yet even sadder account of the final days of former Los Angeles Times sports writer Mike Penner, whose live as transgender Christine Daniels apparently left him heartbroken over the life he felt he threw away and led to his suicide in 2009 at age 52.

The “tragic love story” (linked here) by freelance writer Steve Friess (linked here) takes more of the angle that Penner, after changing to Daniels for about a year, became depressed and confided with friends that the breakup with his wife, Times sportswriter Lisa Dillman, left him far more damaged and depressed than he’d imagined it would be.

“Christine died of a broken heart,” a friends is quoted in the story. “She wasn’t confused about whether she was meant to be a woman. Any other reading of the situation is disrespectful to her memory.”

This account follows one that Times staff writer Christopher Goffard wrote for the paper in March of this year (linked here) that was the first to reveal the means by which Penner took his own life, explaining in more detail about his private torment despite his public appearance.

The L.A. Weekly story also tries to get an explanation as to why Penner’s “Woman In Progress” blog had disappeared from the Times’ website. A story last June in GQ magazine (linked here) impiled that the Times took it down upon Penner’s request. L.A. Weekly reports that the Times policy of preserving its records prevented it from being erased, but “at some point the archives vanished. We have been unable to retrieve the posts or determine who deleted them.”

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