Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

While those with a transphobic obsession will bleat on about the supposed threat of trans women in women’s sports, the games will once again show how amazing women athletes are.

There was a lot of significant women’s Olympic news over the weekend. The US track and field qualifier produced a host of compelling storylines in its own right. From Alison Felix qualifying for her fifth straight games to the dominating 100m victory of Sha’Carri Richardson, 2021 is set to be another banner Olympic year for women.

Though pandemic politics will ultimately further the money-grubbing reputation of the International Olympic Committee…


The living spaces these YouTubers create let me imagine living in a better world

Credit: Steam Games

The city of Verde Beach is sprawling and interconnected, with an impressive bicycle highway running through its center, a powerful skyline, and a large nature reserve and zoo that borders downtown. Visitors of the city arrive through either the city’s massive downtown train terminal or its airport, set on a picturesque manmade island.

The city seems an idyllic place to live, outside of the near-constant wildfires that plague Verde Beach. But, sadly, it only exists in a video game — Paradox’s 2015 title, Cities: Skylines.

Verde Beach designed by a YouTuber who goes by “City Planner Plays,” an actual trained…


Republicans got all the concessions they asked for with the insurrection commission bill, yet McConnell wants to block it anyway

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Shortly after the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, members of congress from both parties condemned those involved. Former president Trump was impeached for a second time over his role in inciting the violent mob which overwhelmed Capitol police and stormed the federal seat of government.

At the time, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell placed the blame for the violence that left six dead and dozens wounded squarely on Trump. But as time has gone on and political calculations have been made, McConnell has changed his tune.

For months now, lawmakers have been discussing a congressional investigation…


A new Tennessee law requiring businesses to post a warning sign on trans-inclusive bathrooms is a new pinnacle of transphobic absurdity

Credit: PlanetTransgender

The Tennessee state legislature wants you to beware — not of poverty or lack of economic opportunity — but instead, of trans people.

Multiple anti-trans bills have passed through the state house there this session, more than any other state in the country. It’s safe to say, Tennessee Republicans are completely trans-obsessed. And their latest bill is the most absurd yet.

Earlier this week, legislators in the state passed a bill requiring businesses with trans inclusive bathrooms to display a warning sign on all bathroom doors.

The signs, which are highlighted in bright red and are topped with NOTICE, read…


As pandemic mask requirements ease, the culture war rages on

Photo: Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control released updated Covid-19 mask recommendations, telling the public that vaccinated people can safely go without a mask in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The White House welcomed the news, with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris holding a joint address where Biden ceremoniously ripped off his mask.

“Today is a great day for America,” he said.

Despite the CDC recommendation, however, many people still aren’t comfortable taking off their masks. Firstly, there’s a huge overlap between Americans opposed to getting the vaccine and those opposed to wearing masks. …


The panic over gender-neutral reproductive health language has another eye-rolling favorite phrase

Photo: Getty Images / Robin Mehdee

On Mother’s Day this past Sunday, conservatives on Twitter rallied around their new favorite joke — which is really just a variation on their one joke.

“Happy Birthing Person’s Day,” they all tweeted, rolling in retweets and the shared laughter of a bunch of usernames consisting of a first name followed by a bunch of numbers.

Ben Shapiro, the Babylon Bee, and countless other right-wingers all parroted the same punch line without a hint of originality. …


I returned to the game just in time to save my sanity.

Credit: playoverwatch.com

I discovered Overwatch in the most cringe, egirl cliché way possible: through a boyfriend.

In the fall of 2016, I was in the midst of my first relationship after transitioning. We had our first kiss after attending the New England Revolution Fourth of July game, under the stadium’s fireworks. It was magical.

Besides our shared love of soccer, my new boyfriend was really into gaming. Without giving away too many details, his career was creating games and his latest obsession was Overwatch. A first person shooter game featuring a colorful cast of unique heroes. …


We’re in the middle of a pandemic and everyone refuses to log off.

A transfeminine non-binary person and transmasculine gender-nonconforming person reading a magazine together. (Zackery Drucker, The Gender Spectrum Collection)

(This post was originally published on Katelyn’s Substack on 7/11/2020 and has been moved here because her Substack no longer exists)

My house growing up was about midway up a small mountain, or maybe a very large hill. Our property abutted with a state park and on the other side of the mountain-hill was Massachusetts. The terrain was utterly rural, and too remote even for cable television. Satellite television was out of the question as well, we were told. Apparently trees blocked our line of sight to the right portion of orbit to catch the satellite.

My family got the…


Trans people have known what we’ve needed for 90 years. For just as long, cis people have told us they know better.

Photo Credit: Zackary Drucker, The Gender Spectrum Collection

(This post originally appeared on Katelyn’s Substack on 5/20/2020 and has been moved here because her Substack no longer exists)

It’s difficult to establish where exactly my sense of self and my gender part ways within my self conception. To me, my being as a woman is as intertwined with my self conception as anything else; being tall, the scar on my left wrist that still aches, the freckles that dot my face and arms.

If that self conception were changed, either by choice or by force, would I even still exist as myself, or would I then be someone…


“I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd, and you will win your freedom.” -Proximo (Gladiator, 2000)

(This post was originally published on Katelyn’s Substack on 11/6/2019 and has been moved here as her Substack no longer exists)

There’s something uniquely American about booing people we don’t like at sporting events. In most of Europe, for example, people tend to hiss instead of boo, a fact which confused me when I first watched a World Cup held outside the United States. My dad couldn’t explain why at the time, finally responding to my badgering with, “some cultures are different.”

In the US, booing is the great equalizer of the masses. The asshole owner of your employer is…

Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store