Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
108 — Genspect Vision: The Bigger Picture with Joe Burgo & Alasdair Gunn

108 — Genspect Vision: The Bigger Picture with Joe Burgo & Alasdair Gunn

In this episode, Stella & Sasha talk with Joe Burgo and Alasdair Gunn about the Genspect’s new direction and the upcoming first-ever live event. As you will hear them discuss, the Genspect Conference, themed “The Bigger Picture,” will bring together experts from many fields holding a myriad of perspectives: eminent scientists, researchers, lawyers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, sociologists, educators, feminists, and some well-known detransitioners.

Guest Joe Burgo is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who’s been in practice for almost 40 years. He’s particularly interested in the concept of narcissism and shame. He’s also a really big part of the BeyondTrans project through Genspect, and the author of several books, including The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age.

Guest Alasdair Gunn was working in academia when he became interested in gender issues. After coming into contact with a group of parents of trans-identified boys, he wrote a series of Quillette articles on the topic under the pseudonym Angus Fox. As a gay man who tackled body dysmorphia in adolescence, Alasdair brings a unique understanding of issues related to teenage male development. His work in gender has focused mostly on design, marketing, research, and communications in support of Genspect. Recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, Alasdair has stepped back from day-to-day work and is keen to highlight the ways in which gender healthcare falls short of the normal standards of excellence we’ve come to expect from the medical industry.

Stella, Sasha, Joe, and Alasdair explain how the Genspect conference is intentionally being conducted during the same week, and just down the street from the WPATH/EPATH conference. The goal is to provide attendees to both conferences exposure to human stories beyond the medical context of transition and challenge the evidence base for gender medicine.

There’s so much enthusiasm about the speakers lined up to contribute to the event’s agenda. Together, Joe, Alasdair, Sasha & Stella explore the roster of presenters and reflect that many of them are previous guests of Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast. They also announce plans for the first-ever Wider Lens live-stream event scheduled to take place from inside the conference.

With so much important and valuable information relevant to so many aspects of gender transition (not just the medical component), the Genspect Conference is setting the stage for a really pivotal moment in time in pursuit of capturing gender from a wider lens, aka “The Bigger Picture.” This conversation is a charming preview of what attendees can expect from The Bigger Picture event, scheduled for late April.


More about Joe Burgo:

Alasdair’s Substack:

Attend/Stream Genspect Conference: The Bigger Picture

Beyond WPATH Document (add your signature)

Eliza Mondegreen on WPATH:

Cynical Therapies:

What your Teen is Trying to Tell You, by Stella O’Malley: 

If you liked this episode, more episodes you might find interesting:

“20 — Gender Dysphoria in Boys: Part 1”

“21 — Gender Dysphoria in Boys: Part 2 — A Conversation with Angus Fox”

“73 — Shame, Narcissism, and the Transition Fantasy with Joe Burgo”

“94 — WPATH’s Bizarre 8th Standards of Care”

GWL Genspect Conference Speakers Playlist (a compilation of previous Gender: A Wider Lens episodes featuring guests who are also speakers at the 2023 Genspect Conference)

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Extended Notes

  • Stella and Sasha introduce the many works of Joe and Alasdair.

  • The Genspect Conference will be in the same area as the WPATH/EPATH Conference during the same week.

  • WPATH has discredited itself to the point that a debate is badly needed. Now is the time to speak up.

  • Sasha points out the importance of looking at gender through a wider lens.

  • WPATH advocates for the affirmative care model.

  • Helen Joyce will open the conference because she deserves her voice to be heard.

  • The group highlights the scheduled conference participants and their qualifications.

  • People’s response to the Genspect Conference has been extremely positive.

  • Alasdair will have a debate about pronouns at the conference.

  • During the conference, Alasdair and Joe will be discussing masculinity.

  • Joe will present his view and clinical material on Autogynephilia and a joint presentation with Lisa Marchiano.

  • There will also be a live stream for those who cannot attend.

  • Presenters are welcome to bring and promote their books at the conference.


“There are a lot of layers to gender and that is what we are trying to get a bigger picture of.” — Stella [5:30]

“Part of the problem has been that WPATH has been advocating for the affirmative care model which puts people like Stella and me out of business basically. That's what they want.” — Joe Burgo [17:01]

“This is abnormal. This is not the way normal health care works. Every other field of medicine works with a collaboration of other fields, not this kind of fiefdom attitude.” — Alasdair [38:55]

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
In this podcast, now in its fourth year, therapists Stella O'Malley and Sasha Ayad take a deep dive into the psychological and cultural forces impacting the social changes around "gender." Through interviews with researchers, doctors, therapists, parents, detransitioners, and others, Sasha and Stella's podcast is a "must listen" for anyone trying to navigate the current gender landscape. With their sharp analytical minds and deep compassionate hearts, Stella and Sasha have also become known throughout many parent networks as lighthouses in the midst of some very stormy seas. Previous guests include Helen Joyce, Jesse Singal, Leor Sapir, Kathleen Stock, Jamie Reed, Peter Boghossian and more.