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Sam Leith vs. transgender people

Sam Leith is an English author and anti-transgender activist.


Leith was born on January 1, 1974 in London and was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. Leith is a “nepo baby” whose parents were also involved in journalism and publishing. Leith authored the 2012 memoir Going Nowhere: A Life in Six Videogames.

Leith is an officer in Leith/Bowden Productions Limited with spouse Alice Bowden and was an officer in 69 Dalberg Road Freehold Ltd with Camilla Clare Cookson. Leith is a parent to children.

Anti-transgender activism

Like anti-trans New York Times counterpart Pamela Paul, Leith gatekeeps coverage of the literary and journalistic contributions of trans and gender diverse people and our allies. Leith is also in a position to promote anti-trans authors and books, which happens regularly. As an example, Leith is a signatory on a 2020 Sunday Times open letter supporting openly transphobic author J.K. Rowling. Leith also contributes to anti-trans publication UnHerd, criticizing Judith Butler and standing up for gender critical activists who dislike the term TERF.

While Leith believes trans people should be accommodated “within the constraints available to reality,” Leith felt moved go mask off in 2023 after deciding that convicted criminal Sarah Jane Baker was emblematic of transgender activism.

Leith’s beliefs and concerns:

  • this “directly affects a relatively tiny proportion of the population”
  • “housing male-bodied sex offenders in the female prison estate” is a problem
  • “ideologues promoting irreversible surgery or hormone treatments on pre-pubescent children” are a problem
  • “biological sex is a real thing”
  • activists make “ever more ludicrous and uncompromising claims about the nature of reality”
  • uplifts outlier conservative trans people including Debbie Hayton and Buck Angel


Leith, Sam (July 10, 2023). Trans activists don’t help themselves. The Spectator

Leith, Sam (September 24, 2020). The intellectual shabbiness of Judith Butler. UnHerd

O’Connor, Roisin (September 28, 2020). JK Rowling: Ian McEwan and Graham Linehan among literary figures to support author amid transphobia row. The Independent

Diamond, Jonny (September 30, 2020) Our terrible year of open letters continues: JK Rowling edition. LitHub

Leith, Sam (November 14, 2013). Sam Leith: A father’s dilemma. Prospect


Wikipedia (

The Guardian (

The Telegraph (

  • Sam Leith columns [archive]

London Evening Standard (

  • Sam Leith columns [archive]

Library of Congress (

Twitter (

The Spectator (

UnHerd (