In the run-up to writing “Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality”, I wrote several articles for Standpoint magazine, which has since sadly stopped publishing. I will always be grateful to the excellent editor, Edward Lucas, for giving me an outlet to write about the harms of gender-identity ideology. He commissioned me to write the cover story for the January 2020 issue, on female detransitioners; for the September 2019 issue, on transwomen in female sports; and for November 2019 issue, on the way that Stonewall’s decision in 2015 to prioritise self-declared gender identity over biological sex has led the veteran gay-rights charity to act against the interests of gay people.
I also wrote several articles for Quillette, including:
- In November 2019: the veteran gay campaigners who’ve had enough of Britain’s ultra-woke homophobes.
- In October 2019: the propaganda campaign against “TERFs”.
- In July 2019: Jessica Yaniv’s claims against Canadian beauticians who refused to wax male genitalia.
- And my first article for Quillette, published in December 2018: an overview of gender identity and trans ideology.
Writing about life, the universe and everything
Before 2017 I was blissfully unaware of the fact that some people thought the words “man” and “woman” weren’t simple descriptors of biological sex in our mammalian species. Most of my journalism up to that point was for The Economist, a publication that almost entirely lacks bylines. Among the exceptions are longer, multi-part “special reports”, of which I have written two: one on Brazil in 2013 (£), when I was the paper’s correspondent in São Paulo, and one in 2019 on banking (£), when I was Finance editor.
I also wrote occasionally elsewhere. Here is a smattering of pieces that still resonate with me.
In 2015 I was one of six people who answered the question: “What's the best number?” for Intelligent Life, The Economist’s lifestyle magazine (since renamed 1843). You can see what I and the others answered here (I still think my response is the best).
In 2016 I wrote a long read on slash fiction for 1843. And no, I’m not a fan of the genre—I stumbled across it while researching something else. I was so astonished that I had to find out more—and for me, the best way to do that is to write about it.
In early 2019 I visited Amsterdam for a retreat with the British Psychedelic Society. I wrote about my trip for the New York Review of Books Daily.
Live talks and interviews on other issues
I interviewed Tony Blair at The Economist’s Open Future conference in London on September 15th 2018.
On a trip to Sydney in 2015 I talked about the Right to Die at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Phillip Lane of Late Night Live interviewed me about The Economist’s support for doctor-assisted dying. And I was the “Sunday Profile” on ABC Radio National, which gave me a chance to discuss a wide range of subjects, including my early life, being a foreign correspondent and the impact of bereavement.