Monday, August 23, 2010

The Truth Finally Comes Out

I have written several times about the Mike Penner/Christine Daniels case, usually in response to some drivel from "Autumn Sandeen."  And Sandeen has usually written in response to an article about Penner.  But a new article in the L.A. Weekly has come out that sheds new light on what led Penner to take his life.  And yet, Sandeen is oddly quiet.  Why, all of a sudden, are we not subjected to another round of hand wringing by Sandeen.  Why is he not telling us what wonderful friend Christine Daniel was, and how sad he is over the loss of this dear friend?

Perhaps because the truth is out, and it turns out that we now know some new facts about what drove Penner to suicide.

The primary factor was one that I can understand.  Penner de-transitioned because he missed his wife.  He could not deal with the end of his marriage.  Years ago, I went through a similar time.  There were two differences.  In my case, my ex-spouse and I stayed together and I had time to work through my issues and realize that being true to myself was more important.  In the end, we remain friends.  Penner's marriage was beyond repair, and even after he returned to being "Mike" his marriage could not survive.

But the secondary factors are why I am not surprised that Sandeen has ignored this new insight into what happened.  There are some interesting quotes from Penner, made at the time he was still living as Christine.  For example, there is this one, sent to Susan Stanton who had complained about Christine's comments in a blog:
"I think what I'm doing is correct. If you've got a problem with it, it's your problem. ... I'm a real woman who loves makeup and clothes, shoes. A woman, not a trans-anything who needs to quote-unquote represent some undefined community. For the first time in my life, I'm being true to myself, and my true self loves makeup, clothes, shoes."
That is a very telling comment.  Especially in light of another comment where she said that she was:
"overwhelmed by everything and everyone. I feel as if I am being used as a pawn by the trans community (and maybe theTimes as well). I have been close to tears many times. ... I am flat-out exhausted."
This confirms what I long suspected.  Penner was used, and to a large extent abused, by the transgender crowd.  But Penner was not remotely transgender.  Penner was a late transitioning true transsexual.  He had fought his feelings as long as he could, but when he finally gave in, he had to face the loss of his wife.  That was too much for him to deal with.

In this article, we also learn, for I believe the first time anywhere, that Penner had scheduled surgery with Marcie Bowers.  In fact, the event that triggered his decline was when Bower's office contacted him about delaying his surgery for a week.  

I found Bower's comment that having surgery would have saved Penner's life to be highly questionable.  Penner needed to work things out with his ex-wife.  He needed to reach closure over the loss, or he needed to decide that his marriage was more important.  If he had reached the first, he would have moved on to surgery.  If he had decided the second, then it would indicate he was not a transsexual after all.  But until this was worked out surgery should have been out of the question.  


Anonymous said...

Sandeen will never comment on this article, I also noticed the paper closed comments on the story for some reason. Like so many transitioning women Daniels / Penner didn't receive proper therapy when these issues came up. Another dirty little secret the Tee-Gees have is they tend to steer transitioning women away from the help they really need.

Wisely Sandeen wasn't interviewed for the article. It's very telling that LeCoe was the only one of Christine's friends from the community that was allowed at the manorial. She obviously isn't a man in a dress like the activists or a certain surgeon I could mention.

With any luck a few of those so called activists have read the article and are nursing their guilt.

There are times when I am so disgusted with trannys.

Aria said...

Thanks for pointing this out. While it sounds controversial to say that surgery would have saved Penner's life, if you accept that this person was truly dealing with a transsexual condition it most certainly would have given them some breathing room from the overwhelming problems that lead to suicide.

Any of us who have had surgery can attest to its healing power. Especially in those early days soon after surgery when the joy can be overwhelming. It doesn't fix life issues like being known as a public "trans" person. But it can give you to the strength to carry on where before you wanted only death. If Penner/Daniels had the surgery, who knows what might have transpired. When hope is restored to your life you can do amazing things. Even leave a trans public persona behind.

It's a difficult situation for anyone, and this life and death aspect is something that is almost impossible to explain to people who don't share it. When I hear things like "elective surgery" it's so frustrating because its clear you really can't relate it to other people. That's why the things the transgender do to us are so damn rotten. The angst of the condition is a burden which we all bear, and the impossibility of relating it to other people leaves a huge gap for the TG to exploit. That's why it's important to develop our own dialog out here in cyberspace, at least.

Anne said...

I think another new revelation, at least to me, was the fact that Penner/Daniels had been taking anti-depressants. Serious stuff. Not to ntion the side effects of going "cold turkey" off her HRT.

Anonymous said...

People on antidepressants should be carefully watched especially if they live in a stressful environment and have no downtime where stress is concerned.

Most all the antidepressants warn thoughts of suicide are side effects of their use.

I found myself wondering how much of the depression was a result of transition issues that a therapist could have resolved more effectively.

One aspect of Daniels transition that keeps gnawing at me was the overtones of recklessness in the beginning stages of her transition. The way she jumped into it was not good for someone with a well established life, relationships, and career. Late transitioners must be willing to walk away from Everything and start over if need be. It's obvious from this article and others She wasn't ready for that possibility.

The young have it so much easier not having all the ties that go with being an adult for 20 or 30 years or more.

Just Jennifer said...

Well, it has been a while, and it appears that the prediction was correct. Sandeen has been completely silent about the article...the first time that I know of that he has not tried to impose himself into this sad tragedy when a major article has appeared,

Just Jennifer said...

Aria, you are most welcome. I appreciate your comments.

Just Jennifer said...

Yes, just "jumping" into transition can be a big mistake. That had a lot to do with my backing off for seven years before finally making a second transition that resulted in my surgery. I made no plans, and just decided to go forward rather suddenly. I was not prepared for what was inevitable. The second time, I carefully considered things and move more slowly.