Ellen McGrody

Freelance Journalist, Author, and Activist

United States of America

Ellen's writing credits include Pioneers of the LGBTQ Rights Movement and Coping with Gender Dysphoria, both published through Rosen Publishing. She is currently a staff writer for the Bay City Beacon and for TSSZ News, and has appeared on Waypoint, PC Gamer, The Mary Sue, Broken Joysticks, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured at TRANSform Tech, Lost Levels, GaymerX, and the Queerness in Games Conference. Ellen lives with her fiancée and cat in Oakland, California.

Hedge Fund Sued Over Bay Area Newsroom Layoffs

A local news writers union is accusing owners of Digital First Media, a news conglomerate which owns newspapers throughout California and beyond, of foul play, including mass layoffs in Pulitzer-winning newsrooms. Last week, Bay Area news union Pacific Media Workers Guild released a statement blaming a series of mass layoffs at the East Bay Times and the San Jose-based Mercury News on the reckless financial behavior of Alden Global Capital, owner of news conglomerate Digital First Media.

Witchball is Pong reinterpreted as a sci-fi racing game

Witchball, a self-described "post-reality racing game" from developer Stephen Clark, pits two players against each other in a race to the finish on several basic courses with obstacles. It's also Pong. A ball floats in between the two halves of the screen and players try to score on the other.

For Many Players, Lootboxes Are a Crisis That's Already Here

photo by Loomis Dean / The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images My older sister has three kids-a 12-year-old, an 11-year-old, and an 8-year-old. This Christmas, they got an Xbox One. When I found out about their gift, I got excited.

Coping with Gender Dysphoria
"Bypassing Barriers to Care" Sample

An excerpt of the section Bypassing Barriers to Care from Coping with Gender Dysphoria, a forthcoming YA non-fiction book I wrote for Rosen Publishing

Politics and Culture

Mayor Farrell Advances Plan for Municipal Fiber Internet

This week, the San Francisco Municipal Fiber Blue Ribbon Board released a report recommending a set of provisions that ISPs using the city's infrastructure will have to follow, the latest in a set of recent moves towards to the rollout of municipal fiber in San Francisco.

The Bay City Beacon
In the Midst of Tragedy, Blocked from Donating Blood

Despite some policy changes by the FDA, members of the queer community find that donating blood is still complicated, if not impossible. It's been a bad year. Between Harvey, Irma, Maria, Las Vegas, and the North Bay fires, it seems there's been a new fucking disaster every week, and the urge to help in the aftermath can be overwhelming.

Bay Area Bureaucracy Threatens Immigrant Street Vendors

The threats of deportation, bigotry, and violence loom heavily over San Francisco's immigrant street vendors. While selling fruit from pushcarts or hawking wares on the street may seem like simple ways to make a living, Bay Area bureaucracy makes it harder to do legally.

The Bay City Beacon
Thousands Rally Against Hate in Berkeley

Following up on yesterday's massive March Against Hate in San Francisco, East Bay residents mobilized against a planned "anti-Marxist" rally at the Bay Area Rally Against Hate. I was there all day, documenting the events and following altercations. Protestors and organizers of all stripes came together at the Bay Area Rally Against Hate.

Games, Comics, and Popular Culture

Review: Tomy's Ultimate Classic Sonic

Tomy's first attempt at a collector-oriented figure could be the best Classic Sonic toy yet - though it's definitely not without its faults. Just as Sonic Team made many attempts at realizing Sonic's unique spiky build in three dimensions, toy manufacturers from JoyRide to Jazwares and now Tomy have found it difficult to make a Sonic figure that's fun to play with without making some serious compromises to his design.

SEGA Shop Begins Selling Special IDW Comics Bundle

As announced during the Sonic panel at SXSW in Austin, TX this morning, the SEGA online shop began selling a bundle of the first four issues of the new Sonic the Hedgehog comic from IDW Comics.