Episode 58, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube


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Deirdre McCloskey is an economist, the author of more than 20 books, and is one of America's most prominent trans academics. During our conversation, Deirdre talks about growing up in the 1940's and 1950's, knowing from an early age that she wanted to be a woman, her marriage of more than 30 years to the "love of her life" and fathering two children, and her epiphany in the 1990's, at more than 50 years of age, that she wanted to transition from a man to a woman.

Deirdre also details the reaction of her family to her desire to transition, how she was twice institutionalized, progress in trans rights in America, and her disagreements with positions taken by individuals like Kathleen Stock and Helen Joyce, who have publicly voiced concerns about allowing children to go through hormone therapy and insist that the majority of kids who transition later regret their decision.

As I note during the conversation, I think most people are trying to form their views on this sensitive issue, to best determine what is true and what is decent. A free society should allow adults to do what they want, provided they aren't harming others. I try to understand the concerns of people on both sides of this debate around children, and no matter how one might come down on it, I admire Deirdre's courage in authentically living her life, in being true to herself, and in her commitment to free speech, to allow open and important moral conversations to happen.

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Time Stamps:

(00:00) Introduction
(02:50) “Crossing: A Memoir” quote: boyhood
(09:49) Early life and sexuality
(14:29) Gender conversations with her ex-wife
(16:53) Concealments from her ex-wife
(17:44) Being sexually different in the 50s and 60s
(20:23) Cross-dressing
(21:31) Gender transition after decades of marriage
(23:09) 50 years as a male
(25:45) Her resistance towards gender change
(28:10) Praying to be a woman
(29:19) Lived experience as a man identifying as a woman
(31:19) The moment of epiphany to transition
(35:26) Clarity on the epiphany
(36:33) Loved ones’ reactions to the gender transition
(38:54) Being institutionalized against her will
(41:25) Classical liberalism and freedom
(43:13) The experience of being institutionalized
(45:59) Changing cultural views on gender transitions
(50:09) Life post gender transition
(53:50) Self-actualization and gender transition
(58:25) The best part about being a female
(01:01:16) Living doubt-free post gender transition
(01:05:00) Freedom of speech being paramount
(01:06:26) Is gender change irreversible?
(01:11:41) Do children often regret gender transition?
(01:16:29) Are claims of children regretting their gender change fabricated?
(01:19:19) The state’s involvement in personal decisions
(01:23:00) Removing the state from personal decisions
(01:27:47) Courage, and being a public example

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