Catskill Cabin Getaway: Zoë Playdon (Audio)

Jan 20, 2022
Produced by Mike Porter and Andy Reid.
In this broadcast, a conversation with Zoë Playdon. Born in the English Midlands, Zoë was for many years the only member of her family to graduate from university. After a first degree in English, history, and archaeology, her career included teaching and management in schools, colleges, and universities, as well as a period as a senior civil servant. En route, she earned a master’s and doctorate in literature and management. In 1993, Playdon was named chair and head of postgraduate medical education at the University of London and NHS London and South East Region. Her research interest in what happens when western biomedicine meets traditional indigenous medicine took her to the Yukon Territory of Canada’s sub-arctic boreal forests, where she developed her love of paddling and wilderness living. Playdon's 30 years of LGBTQ+ activism include co-chairing the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists and co-founding the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity. Drawing on her years of working with and advising legal teams, government departments, and the NHS, in 2021 she published a critical social history of the trans experience, "The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes." As Emeritus Professor Medical Humanities at the University of London, Zoë continues to research, advise, and teach on two master’s degrees: applied medical humanities at Birkbeck College; and Bushcraft at the University of Cumbria.