The Corner


‘Is This Really Happening?’

Transgender teen Jazz Jennings on stage during WE Day California in Inglewood, Calif., April 7, 2016 (Danny Moloshok / Reuters)

Readers of National Review have noticed the byline of Madeleine Kearns. She has been doing a lot of writing on Brexit and a lot of writing on transgenderism — transgenderism as it relates to children. This is the subject of a Q&A we have recorded here at NRHQ.

Maddy is from Glasgow. (She pronounces her last name “Cairns,” by the way. We Americans would be more apt to say “Kerns,” as in two Jeromes.) She attended the University of Saint Andrews. (I always want to put an apostrophe in “Andrews.”) Whether she plays golf, I’m not sure. She studied singing and English literature. Then she did a master’s in journalism at New York University.

Transgenderism is not for the faint of heart — at least where transgenderism concerns children. Let me quote from something that Maddy has written: “Some American children are on irreversible cross-sex hormones as young as 12 and have double mastectomies as young as 13.” There ought to be a law, say I: a law against. I regard this as child abuse, essentially. In our podcast, Maddy tells a few horror stories. When you hear about them, she says, you want to ask, “Is this really happening?” And the answer is yes. Maddy also talks about the politics of the issue, which are interesting, if somewhat nauseating.

I admire her for investigating this unpleasant, and important, area. She does not leap out of bed to do it. But somebody has to do it, she notes. Let me quote from our podcast: “I didn’t intend for this to be my beat. I’d rather be doing anything else — even Brexit.” (“Let’s not go that far,” I interject.) “But what happened was that I learned too much to be able to walk away in good conscience.”

Again, our Q&A is here.

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