Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Flashback Episode | 41 - Trans: A Conversation with Helen Joyce

Flashback Episode | 41 - Trans: A Conversation with Helen Joyce


No transcript...

In honor of Helen Joyce’s keynote appearance at the 2023 Genspect Conference: The Bigger Picture, we wanted to revisit our conversation with her from 2021 shortly after the release of her book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. So this episode is a replay of her prior appearance on our show. And now we find ourselves almost two years later from this recording and she continues her work around sex and gender. She recently announced her decision to leave her senior editorial role at the Economist and is devoting her efforts full-time as the Director of Advocacy at Sex Matters. She has since worked tirelessly to defend women’s rights to single-sex spaces against the encroachment of gender self-ID and trans rights activism.

Joyce’s address at the 2023 conference presents the cultural and sociological impact of gender identity beliefs as well as the disastrous effects of gender identity ideology on the health care of those suffering from gender distress. She then teams up with colleague Maya Forstater, Executive Director of Sex Matters, for a panel discussion on the topic of gender-critical beliefs and their protection under the UK Equality Act. Visit for more about Joyce’s appearance at the April 2023 conference.


Tune in to 

Friday, Apr 28, 2023 @ 7pm (IST)

Gender: A Wider Lens will be streaming live from Killarney, Ireland at the 2023 Genspect Conference: The Bigger Picture.

Sex Matters: a UK-based not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to re-establish that sex matters in rules, laws, policies, language, and culture. 

Genspect Speakers Playlist

Many of the esteemed speakers participating in The Bigger Picture have previously been guests on our show. Click the link below to access a playlist composed of GWL episodes involving speakers from the 2023 Genspect Conference.

Helen Joyce’s Website:

Helen on Twitter:

Book Review by Jesse Singal

Helen’s interview with Andrew Doyle:

Stella’s Book Review in The Evening Standard:

Becoming Julia (Gender Transition Documentary):

The End of the World is Flat by Simon Edge:

Survivorship Bias:

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett:

Please visit to explore more content, access additional resources, or join our listener community.

For more information about Sasha’s & Stella’s private membership groups:

Sasha Ayad:

Stella O’Malley:

To learn more about our sponsors, visit:




Extended Notes:

  • NY Times reviewed Helen’s new book, Trans, and Sasha is even in the book!

  • Helen didn’t even think her book would get published because of its taboo topic.

  • Are people fascinated with gender or with sex?

  • Non-binary people are trying to redefine everybody and trying to change a “fundamental truth.” Of course, it gets people upset.

  • What is the difference between transsexualism and gender self-ID?

  • This book is not about trans people, it’s a book about ideology.

  • If being trans was an ideology, a belief system, that’d be okay. However, this movement is trying to change gender facts, and that’s a harder thing to get behind.

  • Right now it’s very difficult to determine what stance is going to be on “the right side of history.”

  • The trans movement is structured as “the next thing” that needs to be liberated from oppression. However, will it be?

  • Why do men commit more transphobic acts than women?

  • People say that when you call people trans, you’re committing cultural imperialism. Helen expands on this.

  • Children are suddenly baby adults. When did this happen? What happened to the mother/child bond?

  • People think we can overcome natural human problems with technology. We’d like to think we’re above it, but human instincts/nature will always take over.

  • People like to think we’re like Lego pieces; easily replaceable body parts.

  • If you are a male that wants to be female, the truth is, you can’t be. What does that mean for you? It means you have to remake the world.

  • Historically, men have been the dominant ruler. By becoming female, you’re giving up power. In society, this is allowed. The same is not true if the genders were reversed.

  • If you change your legal sex from female to male, that does not change your position in legal inheritance. (Which is traditionally important in aristocracies.)

  • Helen is aware that she left a lot of things out in the book. It’s not a complete body of work. There’s so much to talk about in this ecosphere.

  • Helen wrote about what’s happening to trans people in Canadian prisons. It’s horrible, but it’s much worse in the United States.

  • People think Helen is a social conservative. Helen says women are not the same as men, but it’s being translated to her thinking women are inferior to men. That’s not true.

  • Helen is worried about the U.S. and how they’re handling this topic.

  • Helen addresses the NY Times’ criticisms of her book.

  • Who is this book for? It’s for people who want to understand the changing trans landscape.


“When you detach language from reality, all sorts of strange things happen.” — Helen [7:50]

“We have fallen for a narrative of progress. That the arc of history bends towards justice. I hope that’s true, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a given.” — Helen [24:40]

“Children are baby adults suddenly. It’s like developmental psychology is forgotten or the parent/child or mother/child bond [has been forgotten].” — Helen [40:05]

Gender: A Wider Lens
Gender: A Wider Lens
Therapists Stella O’Malley and Sasha Ayad explore diverse perspectives through a psychological lens, fostering open dialogue on gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella. Their work with gender dysphoric clients and unique experiences yield an informed outlook delving into gender's psychological nuances. Interviews with clinicians, academics, transgender individuals, parents, detransitioners, and others touched by gender provide varied insights and intimate inquiry into the taboo yet relevant topic.