New ‘New Atheist’ Cry: There Is No Trans

Yes, Dawkins did fall down the transphobia rabbit hole. QED.

Tucker Lieberman
11 min readNov 12, 2023


empty, hatched eggshell lying in the grass
Cracked egg by Mabel Amber from Pixabay

Richard Dawkins, a biologist famous for his book The Selfish Gene (1976) and for his later collaboration with the New Atheists, made a transphobic tweet in April 2021. Consequently, the American Humanist Association revoked an award it had given him 25 years earlier. One might imagine there were other reasons; in any case, this bad tweet was the last straw.

As Dawkins has a large following of admirers, this event generated debate over whether what he’d said was actually transphobic, and if so, why.

This Was Exhausting

I was personally affected by this.

No, not because I’m a snowflake and the tweet made me melt. There are millions of transphobic tweets every day, and I rarely take them to heart.

The reason this particular incident hit home for me is that I had, a couple years earlier, made a large effort to network in-person with an international group of humanists and atheists. I had assumed that a secular group would be trans-inclusive or at least not outright transphobic. It hadn’t occurred to me to gauge the community sentiment.

Upon Dawkins’s tweet and the subsequent debate over the revocation of his award…



Tucker Lieberman

Editor for Prism & Pen and for Identity Current. Author of the novel "Most Famous Short Film of All Time."