The Los Angeles Times has published what is the best chronicling to date of the birth and death of Christine Daniels.
What I found most interesting in the piece was the description of the "turning point" for Christine, when the seeds were obviously planted to return to her life as Mike Penner, even though she knew it likely meant her death:
Paul Oberjuerge, then a sports columnist for the San Bernardino Sun, was in the crowd. "I hate to be judgmental about these things, but Christine is not an attractive woman," he wrote on his blog, noting that Daniels had a prominent Adam's apple and stood more than 6 feet tall in wobbly heels. "It seemed almost as if we're all going along with someone's dress-up role playing. . . .
Daniels was wounded by such criticism -- and by comments from other transsexuals who faulted her for an excessive interest in dresses, jewelry and other outward trappings of femininity.
As the year wore on, Daniels grew estranged from the Los Angeles transsexual community, complaining that she had become a fundraising tool. At one gathering, she spoke of how supportive the Los Angeles Times had been, only to be confronted by someone who insisted that this didn't reflect the experience of most transsexuals.
Suzy Horn has told me that those cruel comments by fellow sportswriter Paul Oberjuerge were a fatal wound to Christine. For someone who was struggling to "pass" as a woman, coupled with a botched photo shoot for Vanity Fair, the public calling-out of her appearance was heartbreaking.
So sad. Why we can't just accept people for what they want to be is beyond my understanding.