The world’s most visible trans woman has kicked off her gubernatorial campaign by demonizing trans women in sports. How do we call her out?

A microphone.
A microphone.
First of all, don’t hand her one of these. Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash

Quick: When you think back on the past half-decade of political campaigns, what do you miss? Is it pointless celebrity vanity campaigns? Irresponsible culture war fearmongering? Do you love having bitter arguments about Representation and Tokenism and how the press ought to cover a problematic female candidate?

Buckle up, friend: Caitlyn Jenner is running for Governor of California, and her first major policy recommendation is banning trans girls from sports.

“This is a question of fairness,” Jenner told a reporter from TMZ this weekend. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It…

For the second time in its 93-year history, the Academy chucked its best statue at a lady. The world is forever changed.

Alas, only one of them gets free refills. Photo by Briona Baker on Unsplash.

Last night, at the 93rd Academy Awards, Nomadland director Chloé Zhao won the Academy Award for Best Director. This makes Zhao the first woman to win Best Director since Kathryn Bigelow took home the award for The Hurt Locker in 2010; Zhao is the first-ever woman of color to win the award.

Feminists have anticipated this day for years. (Specifically, eleven years. That’s how long it took for a second woman to win Best Director.) There is strength in numbers, and as powerful as Kathryn Bigelow might be, there were only so many things she could do alone. …

He’s a 393-foot-tall radioactive genderfluid lizard with a rage problem. He’s my role model.

A Godzilla sculpture made of… I’m going to say, beer cans.
A Godzilla sculpture made of… I’m going to say, beer cans.
I also thought I’d share this photo of my apartment. Neat, right? Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

A monster is a style of rage. Every monster kills people — if they didn’t, they’d just be mythical creatures — and most cause destruction. None of them precisely abides by the social contract. Your monster, the one that speaks to you, is about the kind of destruction you cause; it’s the clause of the contract you strike before you sign.

You can be a liar, a user, someone who seduces and discards, like a vampire or a siren. You can be a werewolf, perfectly nice until something sets you off. You can be a faerie, demanding people play by…

British TERFs recruit by lying to women on the verge of a breakthrough. It’s happening here, too.

A woman sits at a laptop, gazing down at her baby, who’s on the floor next to her. She seems irritated.
A woman sits at a laptop, gazing down at her baby, who’s on the floor next to her. She seems irritated.
Watch out, Little Timmy, shit’s about to get weird. Photo by Standsome Worklifestyle on Unsplash.

So help me, I did not intend to spend part of my week pitying the TERFs on Mumsnet, but, thanks to a truly fantastic article by Katie J.M. Baker at Lux Magazine, that’s where I wound up.

Mumsnet, which began as a parenting forum twenty years ago, has become the premier digital hub of the British TERF movement. Checking in on the “women’s rights” forum on a Saturday afternoon reveals users railing against trans people being allowed to donate blood (“haemoglobins won’t change if someone just identifies as a different gender”), or police reports identifying trans people by their correct…

Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times provide a series of bad answers to the “trans question.”

More of a bisexual lighting question, really. Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Last week, I found myself on the phone, trying not to shout at a reporter from the New York Times.

The shouting was about Substack. I was one of several people who left the platform over its choice to pay, platform and protect transphobic writers. Unfortunately, my post about leaving Substack caught lots of traffic, and I was being treated as an “expert.” Being a trans “expert” in a conversation about transphobia is the closest any human being can get to Hell without hitting Glenn Greenwald on the way down.

There was the writer who wanted to know why I…

On vision, visibility, and what I’m doing here.

Low trains visibility.
Low trains visibility.
PICTURED: Low trains visibility. (Photo by Jaime Dantas on Unsplash.)

The Day of Trans Visibility came and went while I was drafting this post. It was my first as an openly trans person. I wasn’t happy about it.

The day of Visibility, March 31, arrived this year on the week that Arkansas criminalized healthcare for trans minors. It came on the same week that Substack, a media corporation which was making headlines for its transphobia, received $65 million in venture capital funding. I want to be seen; I want a reason to celebrate. But at this moment, visibility is not enough.

We can see trans children now. Fictional trans kids…

The Clinton years aren’t what we really miss — it’s the power of being older and knowing better

Cuba Gooding Jr., Soleil Moon Frye, and Jared Leto in 1991. Photo: Barry King/Getty Images

Soleil Moon Frye’s documentary Kid 90, which premiered on Hulu this month, is an exercise in resurrected childhood. Frye was a child star in the early ’90s, the eponymous character in the show Punky Brewster, and she knew most of the other child and teen actors in the business. She often carried a camcorder to parties, and she now possesses footage of dozens of nostalgia-gilded faces caught at the height of their fame and completely off-guard. (David Arquette! Brian Austin Greene! Leonardo DiCaprio for about three seconds!)

What Kid 90 wants to say, outside of “look at all these famous…

Trans communities have always honored complex gender narratives

Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

When news first spread that 60 Minutes was planning to cover “detransitioners,” the trans community rightly panicked. Detransitioners — cis people, predominantly cis women, who used to identify as trans and now regret their transitions — have become a major flashpoint in the ongoing culture war around trans people. They are central to the work of Irreversible Damage author Abigail Shrier, who claims most adolescent trans boys are girls transitioning due to social contagion. They were the subject of a controversial 2017 piece by The Stranger’s Katie Herzog, even though most estimates suggest that only around 2% of all people…

The newsletter platform is the latest tech company to turn a blind eye to anti-trans arguments

Photo: Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

Last weekend, I announced my intent to abandon Substack. I surprised myself a little with the decision. I like my newsletter. I had content scheduled for two or three months in advance. I had been on the platform since early 2018, when I was recruited by co-founder Hamish McKenzie, who promised me that Toast founders Daniel Lavery and Nicole Cliffe were satisfied users. Yet, over the past several months, I had watched as the platform morphed into a haven for online transphobia, and when I hit my limit, I hit it hard.

The names on Substack now — Glenn Greenwald…

The rise and fall of New York’s governor is what happens when we treat male rage and intimidation as a leadership skill

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Cuomo has never tried to hide who he is: The New York governor is a famous bully. He’ll publicly berate and scream at a reporter for asking a simple question about school closures. He’ll grab a female acquaintance by the face in front of cameras. His feud with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been called the nastiest and pettiest dispute in politics; at one point, Cuomo stuck de Blasio with a $485 million Metropolitan Transportation Authority bill just to make his rival’s life harder.

Stories from Cuomo’s early career tend to include the phrase “relentless personal vendetta”…

Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.

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