Gender transition announcements: Far from inexcusable, rather unavoidable

I was surprised to find that the normally quite liberal Digg community tore apart sports commentator Mike Penner when he announced that he is a transsexual and would be henceforth living as a woman.

The complaints seem to take mostly two forms:

This announcement is a childish attention-getting ploy. If transsexuals would just shut up about themselves already, I wouldn’t find them so repulsive.

There is something to be said for tact and using appropriate forums, but how otherwise does one explain to colleagues and viewers that Mike’s position is now occupied by a woman that looks vaguely like Mike did? A fake firing/hiring orchestrated by management?

There is a good argument for a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy when it comes to one’s sexual orientation in the workplace, but not when it comes to gender transition. It’s just too earth shattering a change in terms of how others relate to the person to be possible to avoid discussion.

This announcement is not newsworthy or relevant, therefore Mike must have abused his media access to inappropriately blow his own horn.

We all learn from the challenges people face when nature marginalizes them into a minority. No one learns more than other members of that minority, especially those in more vulnerable positions, those who face a challenge that seems insurmountable.

Perhaps some of these commentators would be better served simply ignoring what they find irrelevant. The fact that they spend time posting about how boring, irrelevant, or infuriating the subject is to them suggests that their expressed ire belies a true interest of some sort, whether it be a personal axe to grind, or possibly even repression.

What this person did is the only sensible approach to his dilemma, and it’s sad to see Digg rip him apart for it.

Leave a Reply