The Guardian's trans crisis exposed as leaked tapes highlight newspaper's turmoil

Someone reading The Guardian

The publication called for a meeting in April to discus the internal issues

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 12/09/2023

- 12:19

Staff members have been at loggerheads for months over trans issues

The Guardian is entangled in a trans crisis after leaked tapes exposed staff members disagreeing over issues relating to gender.

The newspaper’s staff have been butting head for months over how to cover issues relating to trans people in their publication.

The media group called for an “untangling sex and gender” meeting back in April for staff to discuss the ways they cover women’s rights.

In the meeting, two journalists, Sonia Sodha and Susanna Rustin, stated that they believed trans women should be kept separate from biological women in specific areas.

The Guardian and Observer HQ

​Speakers at the meeting spoke about how they had been harassed because of their views


In the recording leaked to American media site Semafor, the attendees discussed internal disagreements at the publication which have led to tensions between staff.

Four speakers stated that they had been harassed because of their trans-critical views.

A deputy editor also said that their personal attempts to organise internal events had been met with resistance.

They said they had been faced with “efforts to loudly, even violently, protest or stop meetings taking place”.

The meeting, which was allegedly heavily imbalanced in favour of trans-critical speakers, was blasted by many staff members.

Many were annoyed that the meeting had been held during the newspaper’s diversity, equality, and inclusion week, according to Semafor.

The row led to multiple journalists stepping down from the paper.

This includes Hadley Freeman and Suzanne Moore, pro-trans writers.


LGBT flag

The row has led to multiple journalists resigning from their positions at The Guardian


One former employee said: “As long as The Guardian bows to Guardian US, I don’t see much changing."

Sodha said her views have sparked fury both internally and externally.

She said: “I’ve had attempts to try and get me kicked off charitable boards. I’ve been doxed online by people who disagree with me on this issue.

"I’ve had my home address published online. It’s just an example of how toxic and polarised this debate is."

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