A veteran sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times revealed in a published column Thursday that when he returns from vacation in a few weeks, he will do so with a new name — and gender.

Mike Penner, a 23-year veteran of the newspaper, will continue covering sports as Christine Daniels, he said in the column titled "Old Mike, New Christine."

Click here to read Penner's column.

"I am a transsexual sportswriter," he wrote. "It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them."

Penner, who has covered the NFL, tennis, the Olympics and the Los Angeles Angels in his tenure at the paper, said the transition from man to woman has been arduous, but that his friends have been supportive despite the initial shock.

"When I told my boss Randy Harvey, he leaned back in his chair, looked through his office window to scan the newsroom and mused, 'Well, no one can ever say we don't have diversity on this staff,'" Penner wrote.