News | Transgender

ABC News Editor Says He's No Longer Transgender After Bout of Amnesia

ABC News editor Don Ennis, who came out as transgender on May 8 and said he had changed his name to Dawn, now says that after experiencing a two-day bout of amnesia he realizes he's not transgender, the NY Post reports:

Ennis“I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing me up in a wig and bra and making fake ID’s with the name ‘Dawn’ on it. Seriously,” Ennis wrote in an e-mail to friends and colleagues Friday, explaining his shock after he woke up from what he called a “transient global amnesia” last month.

“It became obvious this was not the case once I took off the bra — and discovered two reasons I was wearing one,” he said, referring to his hormone-induced breasts.

“I thought it was 1999 . . . and I was sure as hell that I was a man,” Ennis said in the e-mail titled “Not Reportable, Very Confirmed.”

“Fortunately, my memories of the last 14 years have since returned. But what did not return was my identity as Dawn,” said Ennis, who had been wearing lipstick, skirts and heels.

“I am writing to let you know I’m changing my name . . . to Don Ennis. That will be my name again, now and forever. And it appears I’m not transgender after all. I have retained the much different mind-set I had in 1999: I am now totally, completely, unabashedly male in my mind, despite my physical attributes,” he said.

Ennis says he plans to be a strong ally of the LGBT community even though he considers himself no longer transgender.

He called his three-month odyssey into the world of women “a tremendous gift.”

“I know my wonderful colleagues will no doubt make it easier for the next person to transition at ABC,” he wrote.

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  1. Oh Lord.

    Posted by: tom | Aug 6, 2013 2:12:38 PM

  2. I like the wig on Don/Dawn better.

    Posted by: Joel V | Aug 6, 2013 2:13:17 PM

  3. Wait until the conservative blogs get a hold of this one.

    And the commenters there are going to suggest that bashing transgendered people was a way to try to help them.

    Posted by: Heartsleeved | Aug 6, 2013 2:15:13 PM

  4. wow. The yet to be understood complexity of biology and humanity. Accept all and discriminate none.

    Posted by: AndyTowlette | Aug 6, 2013 2:18:52 PM

  5. As long as he is certain of himself and happy, that is all that matters.

    Posted by: Rafael | Aug 6, 2013 2:19:19 PM

  6. What? It's been three months and he has boobs?

    Are we sure those aren't just man-boobs?

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 6, 2013 2:23:20 PM

  7. What? ...Wait...what?


    Posted by: whitneyisadude | Aug 6, 2013 2:23:28 PM

  8. Don't underestmate what true amnesia can do. It's not like it's portrayed in the movies.

    Posted by: BZ | Aug 6, 2013 2:34:38 PM

  9. Other than the discrimination that we face, and the fact that gender is handled a little differently in our lives than traditional "straight" people, GLB and Transgender people have almost nothing in common. I don't feel any affinity whatsoever with Trans people. I don't mean this as a slight or an insult--they deserve rights and compassion, but what do they have to do with GLB issues, really? Ugh.

    Posted by: Asher | Aug 6, 2013 2:40:50 PM

  10. Huh?
    I can't follow the timeline in this piece: 14 years? 3 months?
    I know identity is somewhat mutable, but this NATIONAL ENQUIRER-style story is the kind of thing our enemies in the culture wars pounce upon.
    I don't get it. I hope ABC and the wife do.

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Aug 6, 2013 2:41:12 PM

  11. I don't think you can un-ring that bell, honey. But, best of luck.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Aug 6, 2013 2:49:36 PM

  12. Venus Xtravaganza's read from Paris is Burning comes to my mind - I'm not buying their story:

    Posted by: Pierre | Aug 6, 2013 2:52:11 PM

  13. There's a lot of things that have me wary about this case and I wonder if it's just about attention-seeking and/or instability.

    Either way, it seems better to leave this as a personal matter and ignore the story.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 6, 2013 2:53:59 PM

  14. @BobN, he probably didn't get boobs in 3 months. The earlier story said that his mother fed him female hormones when he was young, supposedly to make him look younger for an acting career. So, he probably already had some sort of boobs before this strange turn of events happened. (Apologies if I didn't use the right pronouns. It's too complicated for me to know which pronouns are correct here.)

    Posted by: Neil | Aug 6, 2013 3:20:52 PM

  15. At least somebody gets to live out their sexual fantasies!

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 6, 2013 3:27:30 PM

  16. Lol. Mental case. Not the last alleged bout we will see of such a person.

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Aug 6, 2013 3:39:05 PM

  17. Sounds like he suffers from multiple personality disorder and has at least one other alternate personality, this one female, and he was in some sort of fugue state.

    Posted by: Psych | Aug 6, 2013 3:42:51 PM

  18. Yes, Psych, I agree. Definitely sounds more like something to do with DID.

    Posted by: Fox | Aug 6, 2013 3:52:02 PM

  19. I don't like the user's comment that trans people have nothing in common with LGB people. It reminded me of a Towelroad comment on the Olympic controversy, where the comment made was very kind toward the more "butch" athlete and his dislike of the fem Johnny Weir. LGBT people covers the entire spectrum and we should support each other; we don't need to try to be classic men or women and we don't have to follow traditional societal rules. We should be entitled to them if we wish but have the freedom to not follow them as well. I do not know this newsman's story and neither does any other poster (I doubt). His story is unusual but I believe him until I have any reason not to.

    Posted by: TimD | Aug 6, 2013 4:01:58 PM

  20. Here is a really good example of how different Gay and Lesbian issues are from Trans issues. We are not the same and we really cant speak for one another.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 6, 2013 4:07:03 PM

  21. TIMD,

    my dear buddy, you must be new to the blog. You wouldn't believe some of the anti-Transgender statements made by some of these b.tches over the last few years.

    I guess you'd have to call them Transgender-bashers. That takes a lot of damn nerve for a Gay man to be a Transfolk-basher.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 6, 2013 4:08:11 PM

  22. very confusing story

    Posted by: bructer | Aug 6, 2013 4:14:38 PM

  23. Wow! What a story!

    Posted by: mikep | Aug 6, 2013 4:16:47 PM

  24. I don't get it and I'm okay with that.

    Posted by: David | Aug 6, 2013 4:19:42 PM

  25. Can we just be honest and acknowledge that transgender issues are different than LGB issues? Can we be honest and humble and acknowledge that most gay people do not understand a whole lot about trans issues, as this story illustrates? Why do we have to keep pretending that because we are gay that we have some inherent, deep connection to and understanding of transgender?

    We don't. It is insulting to trans people as well as to LGBs to keep insisting that there is a connection when it is obvious that there isn't? That doesn't mean that we have to hate on trans people or not be friends. But we aren't them and they aren't us and it makes no sense to lump ourselves together.

    Posted by: Seth | Aug 6, 2013 4:48:50 PM

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