Selected Writing

Merry Jane

Does Transitioning Change the Way You Smoke Weed? December 2018

Transgender people don’t all experience dysphoria in the same way, but most speak to a sense of anxiety associated with being misrecognized and over-scrutinized based on their gender presentation. For many people, cannabis is a useful tool. But it can just as easily go the other way.

Ryerson Review of Journalism

Pull Quotes Podcast — Note to Media: Hire More Trans People, November 2018

I joined Al Donato on the RRJ’s Pull Quotes podcast to talk about common problems in popular discourse around trans people, how Canadian media can improve its coverage of trans issues, and the conditions facing trans people working in journalism.

Briarpatch Magazine

Taking Your Transition Into Your Own Hands, September 2018

Trans people regularly encounter unsustainably long waiting lists for trips to far-flung offices. Whether or not you’re able to access hormones is often up to the discretion of individual practitioners, who can simply decide they’re not comfortable writing a prescription. Many jurisdictions don’t offer health coverage for transition-related care, and costs can be prohibitive.
When the going gets tough, people often have to get creative — including lying to your doctor, self-medicating, and ordering hormones online. This is a story about DIY transitions.

This story is the cover story and the winner of the 2018 Andrea Walker Prize for writing on women’s & trans people’s health.


What It’s Like to Medically Transition As a Nonbinary Person, August 2018

Medical professionals tend to approach transition as a recipe with a set list of ingredients, a scientific exercise with reliable results, or a 12-step program that requires close adherence to come out the other side. How do you embody a category of experience that many people don’t even believe exists? How do you make sense of your body and how it’s changing when all available narratives feel too gendered to apply?

THIS Magazine

Why reporters need to be more responsible in their coverage of trans communities, September 2018

The way cisgender people write about detransition reflects assumptions about transgender experiences as binary and linear. In these stories, trans people aren’t recognized as human beings living real lives; they’re simply characters playing their part in a cautionary tale.

Each Death is a Preventable Tragedy, June 2018

When they are targets of violence, trans women are often dismissed as victims of their of circumstances — especially if they are sex workers or people of colour. Not having a fixed address, being potentially exposed to drugs, and subverting assigned expectations of gender and sexuality contribute to a public perception of carelessness and deviance that tells people and institutions, like the police, how much they have to care about those they see as putting themselves at risk. This is a story about loss and injustice.


Shawn Mendes isn’t gay, and we need to get over it, November 2018

What does queerness look like, and how do we know it when we see it? What’s the difference between the quiet fact of heterosexuality and the open secret of the closet?

American politics have always been trashy TV. So, why can’t Omarosa win? September 2018

Celebrity culture, from reality TV to modern art, is deeply connected to American politics. In some ways, politicians and TV personalities occupy a similar position as representatives of the people.

Can you sing your way out of the closet? May 2018

What does it mean for artists to share undeniably queer experiences, but not actually come out?

Is the culture around makeup an expression of feminism? May 2018

We shouldn’t need to warp our feminism to accommodate our lifestyles.

Can watching British gardening shows turn you into an adult? March 2018

Despite my embarrassing TV viewing habits, I’ve always liked to imagine myself as relatively well-rounded. But then I started dating someone who speaks three languages and goes to ballet class in the middle of the day on his weekends.

Sam Smith is being gendered without his consent, October 2017

There are an abundance of ideas about trans and queer people, but far fewer of our own stories: our narratives are often decided for us, whether we asked for them or not.

Theorizing the Web

Social Media and Queer Consumption, April 2018 (conference)

Martine Syms writes that “representation is a form of surveillance.” I spoke at the Theorizing the Web conference about how representations of queer and trans people in online space dictate acceptable narratives for trans community and identity, according to what aligns with the market-driven interests of corporations.

You can click the above link to watch the whole panel. I’ve also made the slides (and notes) available through this link.


Canadian Media Makes A Mess Of Covering The Transgender Community, January 2018

Can a genuine conversation about the issues facing transgender Canadians take place without adequate representation?

Canadian Jewish News Loses Last Regular Left-leaning Columnist Over Word “Occupation”, June 2017

If the editorial guidelines argue that some things and some voices just should not be published, it’s no wonder that publishing them can make life difficult for the sole writer who is tasked with doing so.

How Jewish Media Excludes Jewish Voices — and how one podcast is trying to change that, March 2017

For Jewish Canadians who do not see themselves and their narratives represented, the media is just one more unsafe space where a constrained definition of Jewishness is the only acceptable norm.

SHORT CUTS – Goddamnit, Fine, Let’s Talk About Jordan Peterson, November 2017

I co-hosted Episode #143 of the CANADALAND Short Cuts podcast, and talked with Jesse Brown about free speech scares, bad paper policies, and what’s worth debating on provincially-subsidized television.

Teen Vogue

RuPaul’s Comments About Women in Drag Show a Misunderstanding of Gender, March 2018

Drag isn’t about faking it; it’s about serving it.

Huffington Post

Pro-Palestinian Groups Are The Real Victims Of Campus Censorship, December 2017

There is plenty of sympathy among pundits and politicians for folks like Shepherd and Peterson — but none for Palestinian students who object to the occupation of their homeland.


Toronto’s Jewish Left is Alive and Well and Resisting Extremism, June 2017

The past, as they say, didn’t go anywhere. Energized by Trump, Breitbart, and the Rebel, far right groups are once again out on the streets. It is not a very comfortable time to be Jewish in Toronto. Progressive voices are more vital than ever.

Anti-Muslim Hate Groups Plan to March in the Toronto Pride Parade, June 2017

Far-right groups invited the Jewish Defence League to join them in marching in the 2017 Toronto Pride parade, carrying Islamophobic signs and “severed heads”.

Toronto Council Gearing Up For Another Battle Over Pride Funding, May 2017

For weeks, Campbell has been trying to rally support on City Council to deny Pride their grant in retaliation for the decision to disinvite uniformed police contingent and floats from marching in the parade.

Toronto Needs Immediate Solutions to Ongoing Homelessness Crisis, April 2017

Several agencies on the frontlines helping Toronto street-involved residents called an emergency press conference April 18 to address the city’s ongoing homelessness crisis.

Basic Income Is No Silver Bullet, But It May Still Save Us, April 2017

Human rights advocates criticize the Ontario government’s proposal as inadequate and untrustworthy. At the same time, some view basic income as a powerful tool within a larger toolkit for fighting poverty.

Toronto City Council’s Repeated Threats to Defund Pride are Homophobic and Racist, April 2017

Groups like Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and Black Lives Matter-TO demand that we recognize Indigenous rights and racial justice and protect those who are directly threatened by the presence of uniformed police.

CBC News

Why banning uniformed police at Pride will actually make the event more inclusive, April 2017

For many white, straight, or cisgender people, it’s easy to forget what the uniformed police officers who dance on parade floats do on the other 364 days of the year. For the rest of us, it’s impossible.
Co-written with Vincent Mousseau.


Pride Toronto is banning police floats— and now police want the city to defund the group, April 2017

Police in Toronto asked city councillors to cut $260,000 from Pride Toronto’s funding in retaliation against the LGBTQ nonprofit after Pride membership voted to implement the demands of Black Lives Matter-Toronto in January.

Justin Trudeau’s camera-ready liberalism is obscuring the rise of Canadian nationalism, February 2017

Don’t let the popularity of Justin Trudeau’s telegenic liberal mug distract you — nationalism is on the rise in Canada, and conservative politicians seem to be jumping onboard.

GUTS Magazine

Who Gets Scammed? Joanne, Nan, and Images of Trans Fetishism, March 2017

When it comes to images of transgender women, whether we want to be or not, we are all voyeurs.

The Establishment

When Transitioning Changes How We Have Sex, March 2017

We’re often made to associate sexual potency and pleasure with “finishing” in the traditional sense. Hearing my friends tell it differently was another reminder that the way we tend to think about our bodies during sex is heavily shaped by sexual media that predominantly caters to straight, cis men.

A Response To ‘Why Faux-Queens Deserve A Place In Drag Culture’, August 2016

Women have always been doing drag. Trans women, cis women, queer and gender non-conforming folks of all identities — all have been deeply embedded in drag communities since the development of the North American drag landscape.