Madeleine Kearns

This content was last updated Nov. 15, 2023, 8:40 p.m. UTC

Madeleine “Maddy” Kearns is a Scottish-American journalist working at National Review and as a contributor to The Spectator. She has been publishing with National Review since 2017, and has prioritized trans issues as one of her main subjects since 2018. She has written hundreds of anti-trans articles over the course of her career, primarily in National Review but also in outlets such as, Wall Street Journal, Catholic Herald, and Unherd.

Kearns has defended conversion therapy on trans individuals, supported portrayals of trans folk as dangerous and violent, defended various people making anti-trans statements such as Ricky Gervais, and repeatedly insisted that trans people should be viewed as members of their birth sex.

If sex is determined at birth — or, more accurately put, if sex is determined at conception and observed at birth — then “trans people” are men and women with false beliefs about their sex. While these individuals deserve all the same legal rights and protections as everyone else, they do not deserve special privileges based on their false beliefs (however sincerely held).

Kearns for the National Review, 14 May 2023

Education, Credentials, and Affiliations

Kearns earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of St. Andrews in 2015, a postgraduate diploma in education from University of Glasgow in 2016, and a Master of Arts degree in journalism from New York University in 2018.

She is a senior fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), where she frequently writes about politics and transgender issues. She received the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship from the conservative-leaning Fund for American Studies in 2022, which provided her with over $35,000 to pursue her journalism projects, specifically one entitled “Sex Rejected: How America Spawned the Transgender Contagion.” This work is currently unreleased.

Kearns interned with The Spectator in 2017 as well as with Verily Magazine that same year. She is currently staff writer with National Review, a position that began from her role as a William F. Buckley Fellow with the National Review Institute. 

Article History

Kearns has written over 400 articles that discuss transgender issues for National Review. About 40% of Kearns’ articles cover trans issues in some respect, but many touch on them only briefly, with about 22% going into greater detail. 

Kearns’ articles contain a uniform slant painting transgender rights as something unreasonable. For some examples, there’s a Kearns article that agrees with Ricky Gervais’s characterization of trans women as rapists, an article defending noted conversion therapist Kenneth Zucker, and in Kearns’ first article for National Review which Lisa Littman’s study of rapid-onset gender dysphoria, which introduced the fringe hypothesis that many young trans people aren’t really trans to the mainstream.

Her publications on trans issues in other outlets, while less numerous, are similar in tone.

Media Appearances 

Kearns has appeared on the right-wing youtube channels for Ben Shaprio Show, Menzies Research Center, and the Megyn Kelly Show as well as the Theology in the Raw podcast. She has appeared on television as well, being featured on BBC, Fox News, and various local news stations according to her website.

Notable articles:

Further resources:

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