Earlier this year, I wrote that Boston news outlets were in the right in noting that Aiden Quinn--the T driver responsible for that nasty crash at Government Center--used to be a woman. This upset a number of people, including a reader who commented that--if I wasn't transsexual myself--I had "absolutely no right or privelege to discuss issues of disclosure of trans status."
I didn't buy that argument then, and still don't. But after reading about the recent death of Mike Penner--the LA Times sportswriter who became Christine Daniels two years ago, then became Mike Penner again, and apparently killed himself this weekend--I have a slightly better understanding of why that reader and others objected as passionately as they did. Despite occasional moments of uplift, Penner's tale is a sad one, and serves as a reminder of just how sensitive the issue of transsexuality needs to be handled.