Freddy McConnell is a Peabody award-winning journalist, presenter, writer and speaker. He is also an important role model for the UK’s LGBTQ+ community.
Freddy’s passion is exploring and understanding societies around the globe through the lenses of gender, sexuality, language and family. Holding a degree in Arabic from Edinburgh University, he has spent long periods in Yemen, Syria, the West Bank and Afghanistan, often travelling overland from Europe, instead of flying. He has travelled extensively elsewhere by land and sea, including a solo journey from Delhi to Dover, via Tibet and Siberia. His perspective as a gay transgender man gives him unique insights into the differences, nuances and similarities of gender dynamics around the world and close to home.
In 6 years as a staff journalist for The Guardian in London and Sydney, Freddy reported on a diverse range of topics, from small-boat immigration on the Kent coast, to indigenous Australian rights, to the rise of internet culture. He also worked as a breaking-news video journalist, wrote a column about starting his gender transition and hosted the light-hearted social affairs podcast, Token.
His campaigning for the LGBTQ+ community is significant and he is best known for advocating for the rights of trans people and their families. In 2018, he became a dad and shared his experience of pregnancy as a transgender man in the BIFFA-nominated doc Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth, co-produced by the BBC, The Guardian and Grain Media.
Wanting to tell more stories of queer parenthood, he hosted the Pride & Joy podcast for BBC Sounds and wrote a parenting column, Dad Bod, for Vice.
For Vice World News, he presented an episode of the ground-breaking, global documentary series, Transnational, which went on to win Peabody and GLAAD Media awards in 2021. His careful investigative reporting helped expose a crisis in gender affirmation surgery for trans men in the UK. His episode for series two of Transnational is released this month.
In 2022, he published his first picture book with Puffin, Little Seahorse and the Big Question, about a solo-parent family. He is currently working on his next two children’s books as well as his first non-fiction book for grown-ups about parenting in a post-gender world.
Freddy has an engaged online audience and works with carefully-chosen brands, often with the aim of challenging stereotypes around fatherhood and masculinity. Brands have included Calpol, Audible, Merrell, Dove and Tommee Tippee. He also works as a consultant for charities and organisations looking to include LGBTQ+ families in their work, and for film and TV companies wanting to tell more accurate and resonant LGBTQ+ stories. As a speaker, he works with universities, non-profits, law firms and FTSE 100 companies, tackling topics from queer family creation, to greener travel, to trans representation in the media.