Why This Trans Person Is Tired of Pamela Paul’s Columns

She could just stop talking about us. She could talk about anything else.

Tucker Lieberman
10 min readFeb 3, 2024

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silhouette of person in a jacket and tie helpfully pointing at an easel with one word in giant letters: NO
Presenter by Gerd Altmann, background by Peter Nguyen, both from Pixabay

Yesterday, the New York Times published a nearly 5,000-word opinion column by Pamela Paul.

She begins with a detransitioner’s story:

“In the fall of her senior year of high school, she started cross-sex hormones. She had a double mastectomy the summer before college, then went off as a transgender man named Grayson to Sarah Lawrence College, where she was paired with a male roommate on a men’s floor. At 5-foot-3, she felt she came across as a very effeminate gay man.”

Sounds like my story, except I’m two inches taller and 20 years older, hence my high school transition is 26 years in the rear view mirror.

My height isn’t the reason I didn’t get a phone call from Pamela Paul.

My age probably would have disqualified me, as it distracts from the dominant anti-trans narrative that gender-affirming hormones and surgery have been available for minors only within the last decade rather than, say, over the last century. Or that when minors transition today, it is somehow qualitatively different from when minors transitioned years ago, and thus trans adults’ retrospectives may be generally dismissed.

But the real reason Paul didn’t call me for her article is that I never detransitioned, nor am I otherwise unhappy with my gender-related choices. She’ll never have use for my gender narrative.

Nor (I’m going out on a limb here) will she (as former editor for the New York Times Book Review) ever be interested in me as an author, regardless of what subject I may write about. Even were I to write a book tailored to some interest of hers, she’d cease to appreciate it once I unmasked as an author who happens to be transgender.

I know this. I know it because the concern-trolling movement that purports to be worried about trans kids is tightly linked to a refusal to like, support, or want to know trans people at any age, in any capacity, in any context. They don’t want to know a trans person unless, of course, a trans person lends support to the anti-trans agenda by advocating (directly or indirectly) for restrictions on…

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Tucker Lieberman

Editor for Prism & Pen. Author of the novel "Most Famous Short Film of All Time." https://tuckerlieberman.com/