This week, Meghan interrupts her regularly scheduled episode lineup for a visit from Ben Appel, a New York-based writer who’s working on a book about ideological capture on college campuses. In 2016, Ben enrolled at Columbia University as a non-traditional student. Already in his 30s, he’d grown up in a cult-like Christian fundamentalist community that pelted him with homophobia; he considered himself firmly on the political left. But the politics he encountered on campus shocked him, especially many aspects of the Palestinian liberation movement. In this conversation, Ben describes what he encountered there, particularly in classes taught by famed Islamic scholars.
In the bonus portion for paying subscribers, Ben stays overtime and talks about the ideas he explored in his 2022 viral Newsweek article, The New Homophobia. He and Meghan discuss the ways in which the new gender movement takes gay people and tries to fit them into a transgender box, all in the service of the same stereotypes that progressives spent so many years fighting.
Ben Appel is a writer living in New York. His memoir, Cis White Gay: The Making of a Gender Heretic, with Bombardier Books, is forthcoming. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Spiked, Daily Mail, Washington Examiner, Queer Majority, and UnHerd.
Follow him on Substack here.
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