Mike “Christine Daniels” Penner’s untimely death leaves me—and probably many other folk afflicted with dissociative gender identification—longing for the day when there is a proven user-friendly antidote therapeutically available for folk who would perhaps prefer not to be gender-variant…
As a victim repartive therapy because of my gender dysphoria, I strongly disagree with your position Brenda.
Brenda, I would have loved not to have been what you call “gender-variant”, my life would have been much easier, and I cannot bear to see yet another person lost in this way. Suicide is a constant temptation and only completion of transition brings some kind of relief. So-called “reparative therapy” is not the answer, it’s rather like the “ex-gay therapy”, it’s completely on the wrong track. What are we talking about “repairing”, it’s really not like a broken limb or some physical imbalance. These so-called therapies simply shut people away in ways convenient to societal or, often, religious preconceptions rather than letting people free to be themselves. The antidote that needs to be sought is in respect of prejudices within society, it would perhaps be liberating for those people as much as for trans people. Can it be really much fun to be walking round carrying a load of hate within yourself against trans people, against gay people?
I remember when Mike Penner first announced his transformation. I didn’t know him of course, but I was happy for him that he could finally come to terms with his gender identity, and be the woman he knew he was meant to be. I’m am deeply saddened by the fact that this was an apparent suicide.
Anyway, if anyone wishes to send their condolences to the paper, I’m sure they’d be willing to pass them on to his family and the LAT staff. The address is:
Los Angeles Times
202 West 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Another tragic loss of no doubt a loving and productive human being probably due to inner turmoil, ignorance, hate and bigotry. Now he is just another name and statistic for the next Transgender Day of Remembrance. Having Gender Dysphoria can be very confusing, anxiety ridden, and painful i.e.: A Living Hell. Aside from the internal confusion there is the external societal and religious stigmatization and pressure to conform just to survive. I suspect Mike like so many transgender people, and all of us for that matter, just wanted to be loved and accepted as their true genuine selves and “just fit in.” But feeling that he could not, he like so many others take their lives just to end their confusion and pain. I grieve for him and his family. May God Have Mercy On His Soul and All Of Us and Grant Us All Peace, Serenity and Enlightenment.
That’s why serious and extensive psychological studies must be done before someone decides to have such operations, because it’s not something that comes out of a whim. Moreover if the one deciding it lived his whole life as an –apparently- assumed man. I’ve heard of cases alike in my own country. It’s not like deciding to take a step further after cross dressing in private. I guess that some of those people realized that physical gender in not such an issue after all, or they didn’t get whatever fantasy they thought they would achieve. But well, speculations don’t make justice to whatever was the truth.
@Abi1975 & Jane…
My mid twentieth century mindset is not advocating anyone to undergo reparative therapy… god forbid… as a sixteen=year-old… my own closeted cross-dressing was forced further into the closet for another thirty-four years when exposed to an older mental-institutionalised peer who when electro-convulsive shock treatment hadn’t rid him of wanting to be a woman, the medical authority had given him a prefrontal lobotomy… hence I wrote:
“WHEN THERE IS A PROVEN USER-FRIENDLY ANTODE THERAPEUTICALLY AVAILABLE FOR FOLK WHO WOULD PERHAPS PREFER NOT TO BE GENDER VARIANT…”
The ready availability of such a voluntary medicated antidote would help separate the wheat from the chaff, and—with fewer gender-variant (cross-dressers, transgendered, pseudo-transsexual) folk seeking therapeutic chemosurgical gender reassignment—greatly assist the gatekeeping clinicians diagnose suitable candidates for therapeutic chemosurgical gender reassignment as probably “biologically brain inter-sexed, or what was formerly termed “true-transsexual,” on whom an antidote for fetish behaviour would have little or no effect…
My pie-in-the-sky musing on the potential benefits and belief in a ready market for a proven magic-bullet antidote for fetish gender-variant behaviour arises from my own lifelong desire for such a magic bullet to have permanently rid me of my desire to cross-dress the day I realised that this socially proscribed behaviour was an insidious self-fulfilling addiction…
That done and dusted. After some twenty-five year’s of ongoing internalized enjoyment, I have concluded that while my American 1984-11-14 male-to-female gender reassignment surgery definitely, and appreciatively relieved my then escalating out of control dissociative gender identification, it did not cure, but only sated what I now believe yesteryear would have probably been termed “pseudo-transsexualism…”