Gender matters

Why I'm not writing for Guardian UK or the Observer

Dear readers,

I’ve been reporting for Guardian US over the past month and a bit, doing breaking news coverage of Canada. I can’t say enough in praise of the Guardian US editors I worked with. I’ve also been working on a piece for the Observer, the Guardian’s news magazine. I was overjoyed at the chance for an Observer byline–as a Canadian freelancer, this kind of exposure is a big deal for me.

But I became a freelancer, in part, because I can work for organizations whose values I believe in. And I am not okay with the transphobic coverage and stance explicitly taken by Guardian UK and the Observer. If you want to learn more about this issue, check out this November 2018 letter from Guardian US staff or this piece from today by Buzzfeed UK’s Patrick Strudwick. If you’re a writer or reader and want to speak out, Jo Livingstone is doing some stuff on Twitter.

Here is the text of the letter I sent to my editor at the Observer:

After some thought, I've decided to pull my bears piece. I can't in good conscience associate my byline with Guardian UK and the Observer right now, over recent transphobic coverage. I'd refer you to this statement from Guardian US staff.

It's too bad, because I was really looking forward to working with you, and I think this bears story is an important Canadian story that has a lot of broader conservation relevance. I hope to work with you in the future.

Like I wrote, it’s too bad: not enough publications are writing critically and thoughtfully about Canadian conservation issues from a global perspective. Canada is where big chunks of the world’s remaining wilderness is and its environmental policies merit international scrutiny.

Tomorrow you can all expect a CREATURE FEATURE just as usual.

As ever,

Kat