Catherine Ronan “Katie” Herzog (born May 18, 1983) is an American podcaster and cultural critic. She is best known for supporting gender critical ideas about transgender people:


Note: for the trans-supportive artist born in 1979, see Katie Herzog and transgender people.

Background

Herzog was born in Asheville, North Carolina. Her parents are both emeritus professors who taught at Western Carolina University. Her father, Harold Albert “Hal” Herzog, served as a psychology professor. Her mother, Mary Jean Ronan Herzog, served as an education professor. Katie Herzog graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in English literature.

Herzog has published writing in numerous outlets, listed below. Herzog identifies as lesbian and lives in Washington state with her wife, Janna (on left below).

Views on transgender people

Herzog worked for Dan Savage as a freelancer for The Stranger, later serving as a staff writer from 2017 to 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was furloughed and was no longer employed there as of 2020.

In 2017, she wrote “The Detransitioners,” a piece critics considered a biased and flawed article supporting the ex-trans movement. Herzog featured activist Ky Schevers prominently in the story. Schevers was deeply involved in the “gender critical” movement connected to trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERF):

While hanging out among ourselves, I and other younger members of this scene would jokingly refer to ourselves and each other as “TERFs”, reclaiming what we viewed as a slur. Many of us got a kick out of having a secret life in a subculture outsiders (correctly) viewed as a hate group. We thought such people were ridiculous and misogynistic for seeing us as hateful and we frequently mocked them, acting as if they were ignorant, misled and/or overly sensitive. We would gather at a lesbian-owned coffee shop and complain about how trans activists were a threat to lesbian culture, talk about dangerous and disgusting “autogynephiles” trying to infiltrate “female-only” spaces, and the social forces supposedly pushing lesbians to “dis-identify from femaleness” and identify as trans. 

Schevers 2021

Neither Herzog nor The Stranger has ever updated the original piece or covered the subsequent developments. This is probably the prime example that Herzog is not an objective source for information on trans issues.

In response, some critics burned copies of The Stranger and distributed stickers that said “Katie Herzog (writer at the stranger) Is A Transphobe.” Herzog says she was ostracized by some friends. The New York Times and The New Republic described the reaction to “The Detransitioners” as an example of “cancel culture.”

After leaving The Stranger

Since leaving The Stranger, Herzog has become more outspoken on anti-transgender topics. Herzog has spoken frequently about the alleged cultural shift away from “lesbian” as an identity, promoted the disputed diagnosis “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” and suggested that the increase in trans-identified people is part of a “social contagion.” She has also gotten money and attention for claiming that medical schools are “denying biological sex” by presenting more inclusive and value-neutral scientific terminology. Her posts on the topic via intellectual dark web promoter Bari Weiss were tagged as unreliable self-published sources by the medicine forum on Reddit, causing the usual suspects to claim they were being censored.

In 2020, she founded Permabanned Media LLC and began the podcast Blocked and Reported with co-host Jesse Singal, also a prominent figure in the ex-trans movement. That year, she co-signed “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” for Harper’s. That letter was debated for being signed by a number of people active in the ex-trans and “gender critical” movements.

References

Schevers, Ky (March 25, 2021). The Reality Behind the Story I Told: What My Life was Like When I was Interviewed for the Stranger. Medium https://kyschevers.medium.com/the-reality-behind-the-story-i-told-what-my-life-was-like-when-i-was-interviewed-for-the-stranger-2508d595689d

McDermott, John (November 2, 2019). Those People We Tried to Cancel? They’re All Hanging Out Together. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/style/what-is-cancel-culture.html

Grant, Melissa Gira (November 6, 2019). Fixating on “Cancel Culture” in an Age of Transphobia. The New Republic. https://newrepublic.com/article/155606/fxating-cancel-culture-age-transphobia

Doyle, Jude Ellison Sady (March 24, 2021). What’s So Scary About Detransitioning? GEN. https://gen.medium.com/whats-so-scary-about-detransitioning-a8340daf3132

Urquhart, Evan (February 1, 2021). An “Ex-Detransitioner” Disavows the Anti-Trans Movement She Helped Spark. Slate. https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/02/detransition-movement-star-ex-gay-explained.html

Selected resources by Katie Herzog

LinkedIn (linkedin.com)

Muck Rack (muckrack.com)

Twitter (twitter.com)

Substack (moosenuggets.substack.com)

  • Chapter One: “And then I met Janna, the woman who would become my wife, and not only did I change my mind about dog fanatics, I’m ashamed to say I even became one myself.”

The Stranger (thestranger.com)

Medium / Arc Digital (medium.com / arcdigital.media)

Portland Mercury (portlandmercury.com)

The Atlantic (theatlantic.com)

Salon (salon.com)

Mother Jones (motherjones.com)

Buzzfeed News (buzzfeednews.com)

The Guardian (theguardian.com)

Slate (slate.com)

Grist (grist.org)

Reason (reason.com)

Selected media appearances

Podcasts/audio

Singal, Jesse (Apr 19, 2019) Singal-Minded, The Interview: Katie Herzog. Substack / Singal-Minded. https://jessesingal.substack.com/p/singal-minded-the-interview-katie

Rantz, Jason (June 11, 2020). Katie Herzog (Blocked and Reported host) on “cancel culture” in Seattle and at the New York Times. My Northwest. https://mynorthwest.com/1935924/cancel-culture-seattle-herzog/?

Kaufman, Scott Barry (July 9, 2020). Uncancellable with Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal. The Psychology Podcast. https://scottbarrykaufman.com/podcast/uncancellable-with-katie-herzog-and-jesse-singal/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4yALKu3RrE

Russell, Thaddeus (January 11, 2019). Episode 74: Katie Herzog. YouTube / Unregistered Podcast. http://www.thaddeusrussell.com/podcast/74

Weinstein, Bret (November 14, 2019). Katie Herzog. YouTube / DarkHorse Podcast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjELREOrtDc

Lewis, Matt K. (November 9, 2020). Katie Herzog on What the Media and the Left Get Wrong YouTube / Matt Lewis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt1i_8k2g5E

Phetasy, Bridget (September 3, 2020). Katie Herzog Never Expected the Concept of “Theybies” to Spread the Way It Ha‪s‬ Walk-Ins Welcome. https://ricochet.com/podcast/walk-ins-welcome-bridget-phetasy/katie-herzog-never-expected-the-concept-of-theybies-to-spread-the-way-it-has/

Video

Murphy, Meghan (February 7, 2019). Taking the white pill: Katie Herzog refuses to be put into a box. YouTube / Meghan Murphy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR5DmKCjgVg

Boyce, Benjamin A. (April 1, 2020). Quarantine Conversations: Katie Herzog. YouTube / Benjamin A Boyce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfLoXgrfiio

Taibbi, Matt and Halper, Katie (March 22, 2021). Substack Cancel Wars With Jesse Singal & Katie Herzog. YouTube / Useful Idiots. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB6BIhnQJuo

Dillon, Tim (June 13, 2020). #204 – Katie Herzog | The Tim Dillon Show YouTube / The Tim Dillon Show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75N9DV8kGPg

Greenwald, Glenn (March 18, 2021). The Role of Claimed LGBT Identity in Political Discourse. YouTube / System Update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt8BZzLFpzA

Rosenfeld, Kat and Bovy, Phoebe Maltz (March 12, 2020). Critiquing “Ugh-Men” Feminism. YouTube / Feminine Chaos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4593zo615iE

Tracey, Michael (June 11, 2020). When did all left-wing activists become trans? YouTube / M. Tracey. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGo4glpvGYc

Doyle, Andrew (October 22, 2020). America is exhausted, with Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog YouTube / Spiked [Culture Wars]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxVd-UyaSQg

Perez, Lou (February 7, 2020). Live in Portland with Bret Weinstein, Heather Heying, and Katie Herzog. YouTube / We the Internet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1sqivHa3sA

Fuller, David and Beiner, Alexander (June 19, 2020). The Death of Journalism? YouTube / Rebel Wisdom / Sensemaking Series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9AVo3jXjN8

Cohen-Wade, Aryeh (July 29, 2018). Jordan Peterson and Detransitioning. YouTube / Culturally Determined / Meaningoflife.tv. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IRAKuB1JI8

PhilosophyInsights (June 19, 2020). The Moral Panic and the Corruption of Journalism. YouTube / PhilosophyInsights. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjT9NVOQW10

This article originally misstated Herzog’s birthday.