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BROADVIEW Podcast
Gender Heretics Radio Hour
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Gender Heretics Radio Hour

An interview with writer Ben Appel
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Last year, I sent Ben Appel a fan letter after reading his Quillette piece. I was fascinated by his personal story—as an atheist with no religious background (but a vaguely Jewish ethnic identity, if I may use that word) I am always a bit jealous of those who grew up with strong religious communities, even (or especially) if, like his, the communities were more like cults. I was also jealous of his courage. Ben was speaking up in a way that I couldn’t quite orient myself toward doing. I didn’t know how I could still earn a living if I shared what I’d learned, especially about what the research on gender-affirming care really shows (and doesn’t show), and the connection between early-onset gender dysphoria (and gender nonconformity) and later same-sex attraction. Ben was concerned that kids like the one he’d been were being sent down a path of lifelong medicalization, administered the same drugs once used to “treat” homosexuality in the name of liberating trans kids. And he was concerned that the social justice movements he’d enthusiastically joined had turned into the kind of cult his family had escaped.

I’m happy to say Ben is now a good friend. Here Ben and I talk about how how he came to these conclusions. Ben is the author of the forthcoming memoir CIS WHITE GAY: The Making of a Gender Heretic. Near the end of the episode, Ben mentions FAIR, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism—we have the wrong website. Here’s the right one: www.fairforall.org

BROADVIEW with Lisa Selin Davis is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

PS: If you admire someone speaking up, let them know! They need to hear it! And you might become friends!

PPS: If there’s any way you can, please join us in speaking up! My goal is to create an environment where we can deal with the complexity of this issue, instead of dismissing anyone who’s concerned as a bigot or contributing to the frightening legislation and assaults on families committed by both the right and the left. (Yes, they are both really bad on this issue!) I want to gather all the information and figure out the sanest, fairest and most humane way forward.

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BROADview
BROADVIEW Podcast
Discussions about the impossible-to-discuss topic of gender...whatever the heck that word means.
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Lisa Selin Davis