ROBERT SMITH, Host:
We'll take a moment now to remember a trailblazer, a veteran reporter at the Los Angeles Times named Mike Penner. He died this weekend at the age of 52.
SMITH: A few months later, Daniels sat down with NPR's Madeleine Brand and talked about growing up as Mike Penner.
CHRISTINE DANIELS: And I just felt that I kind of got a raw deal on this thing, and yeah, I wish I could be a girl. I really envy girls. But I didn't think there was anything I could do about it. And so I just tried to make the best of - best of being Mike for a lot of years.
MADELEINE BRAND: And when did you decide, I think I'm ready to change, I think the time has come, I no longer want to be Mike anymore?
DANIELS: Yeah, that started bubbling up in late 2004 to the point where I was dressing at home and I wasn't going out, and you look in the mirror. I mean, for 20 years, I was closeted. I would dress once a month, twice a month. Then in 2004, it was starting to get to every week. It's called a gender dysphoria, and it builds in transsexuals.
SMITH: Christine, we're born with this. We fight it as long as we can, and it always wins. And I said: I have to - I just have to find out about this. I don't want to die without knowing - without knowing if this is really me.
SMITH: This is NPR News.
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