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Helen Joyce vs. transgender people

Helen Joyce is an Irish author and sex segregationist who has made a number of eliminationist statements about trans and gender-diverse people, including:

  • “we have to try to limit the harm and that means reducing or keeping down the number of people who transition.”
  • “every one of those people is basically, you know, a huge problem to a sane world.”

Joyce is also Director of Advocacy at anti-transgender organization Sex Matters.


Joyce was born in 1968 in Dublin, Ireland, the oldest of nine children. The family moved to Bray, County Wicklow. Joyce moved to England at age 16 to study musical theatre but dropped out to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Trinity College Dublin in 1991. Joyce earned a doctorate in mathematics from University College London in 1995 followed by postdoctoral work.

Starting in 2000 Joyce began doing public outreach and writing to bring math to a lay audience. In 2005 Joyce became education correspondent for The Economist, working there until 2022.

Joyce was raised Irish Catholic but now identifies as atheist. Joyce is married and lives in Cambridge with their two children.

Anti-transgender activism

In July 2018, Joyce curated a series of articles on transgender identity in The Economist. In December of that year Joyce wrote “The New Patriarchy: How Trans Radicalism Hurts Women, Children—and Trans People Themselves” for Quillette.

Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality

Joyce’s 2021 book Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality was favorably reviewed by fellow gender critical activists Kathleen Stock and Jesse Singal. Books editor Pamela Paul’s decision to publish Singal’s review of Joyce’s book led to a major internal conflict at the New York Times.


Joyce, Helen (17 July 2018). After two weeks, our transgender identity series comes to a closeThe Economist.

Lang, Nico (26 March 2019). Editor’s history of calling trans people ‘frauds’ shines light on Economist’s transphobic tweetThe Daily Dot.

Kelleher, Patrick (3 June 2022). ‘Gender critical’ author Helen Joyce says she wants to ‘reduce’ number of trans people: ‘Chilling’PinkNews.

Somerville, Ewan (29 October 2022). Cambridge alumni pulling funding from college after academics said gender speaker was ‘hateful’The Daily Telegraph.

Shorrock, Bella; Byrom, Meg; Jones, Hugh. Students condemn decision to host gender critical feministVarsity.


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