Terry Sanderson (writer)

IntroBritish writer
Is Writer 
From United Kingdom 
Type Literature 

Terry Sanderson (born 1946) is a leading UK secularist and gay rights activist, author and journalist. He became president of the National Secular Society in 2006 and is a long-standing columnist for Gay Times.

Early life and career

In 1946, Sanderson was born to a mining family in a South Yorkshire village. He came out as gay after starting work in Rotherham at the age of seventeen. His parents found out after reading an interview with Sanderson in a local newspaper, concerning his booking a venue for a meeting of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Moving to London in the early 1970s, Sanderson worked as a counsellor and psychiatric nurse, and on the problem page of Woman’s Own.


Sanderson began campaigning for equality for gay people in 1969. His MediaWatch columns for Gay Times have been a feature since 1982, and were described as “probably the most informative record of the extent of press homophobia in the UK in the 1980s”. In 1986, after experiencing problems with a Christian-owned publisher, Sanderson established The Other Way Press as a specifically gay-themed publishing house.

Sanderson was elected President of the National Secular Society in 2006, having previously served as a vice-president for a number of years. He helped organize protests during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom.

Personal life

Sanderson is in a civil partnership with Keith Porteous Wood, the executive director of the National Secular Society. They had been together for over two decades before civil partnerships were introduced in 2005, and they entered into a civil partnership in 2006.


  • The Gay Man’s Kama Sutra (2003) London: Carlton Books, ISBN 978-1-84222-794-7
  • Assertively Gay: how to build gay self-esteem (1997) 2nd revised edition, London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 978-0-948982-10-1
  • The Potts Papers (1996) London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 0-948982-09-8
  • Mediawatch: treatment of male and female homosexuality in the British media (1995) London: Continuum International Publishing, ISBN 978-0-304-33186-4
  • Stranger in the Family: how to cope if your child is gay (1991) London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 0-948982-03-9, (2nd ed, 1996)
  • Making Gay Relationships Work (1990) London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 0-948982-02-0
  • “Gays and the Press” (1989), in Shepherd, Simon and Wallis, Mick, Coming on strong: gay politics and culture London: Routledge; Chapter 13, pp. 231–241, ISBN 0-04-445352-3
  • The Potts Correspondence and Other Gay Humour (1987) London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 0-948982-01-2
  • How to be a Happy Homosexual (1986) London: The Other Way Press, ISBN 0-948982-00-4, (5th ed, 1999)