ABC News editor blames wife, amnesia for gender identity crisis

ABC News editor Don Ennis, via New York Post
ABC News editor Don Ennis. Credit: New York Post

ABC News editor Don Ennis suffered a very public identity crisis by switching his gender twice in a three-month period, and posting a workplace memo attributing his actions to amnesia.

According to a report by The New York Post, Ennis started dressing as a woman and going by the name “Dawn” in May, but recently switched back to being a “just another boring straight guy.”

In a memo posted to the newsroom bulletin board Friday and first obtained by the website NewsBlues.com, Ennis called the episode a “transient global amnesia” and accused his wife, whom he left, 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.”

The memo also attributed his actions to female hormones his mother allegedly gave him as a child. Ennis went on to say: “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.

“I’m asking all of you who accepted me as a transgender to now understand: I was misdiagnosed.

“I am already using the men’s room and dressing accordingly,” he noted.

“It’s so odd to be experiencing this from the other side; as recently as last Friday, I felt I was indeed a woman, in my mind, body and soul.

“Even though I will not wear the wig or the makeup or the skirts again, I promise to remain a strong straight ally, a supporter of diversity and an advocate for equal rights and other LGBT issues including same-sex marriage.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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