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J.K. Rowling Defends Transgender Tweets

— June 18, 2020

“Harry Potter” author says she is not transphobic.

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is taking heat for comments she made regarding the tragender community.  Rowling has defended her comments, indicating that being a female has been a significant part of her life and how she defines herself.  While she supports transgenders, she does not support completely eliminating one’s sexual identity.

Rowling criticized a headline on the website, which used the phrase  “people who menstruate” in an effort to be more inclusive. 

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” Rowling, 54, tweeted in response. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” 

J.K. Rowling Defends Transgender Tweets
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

After the comment received backlash, the author said a part of her own identity  “has been shaped by being female.”  She added on Twitter, “I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.  It isn’t hate to speak the truth…I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.  I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans.  At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female.  I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation group (GLAAD) issued a response, calling the author’s words “inaccurate and cruel” and recommending those who were offended consider donating to advocacy organizations that support black transgender people. 

“JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans,” GLAAD’s statement read. “In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.  We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets.”

Rowling’s fans were especially taken aback by her comments, because they were made amid the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride Month.

“The fact that this is your priority right now, that you have a pathological need to keep harping on this – what a truly disappointing human you have turned out to be,” writer Louis Peitzman replied. “The trans people you claim to love deserve better than you.  Happy Pride Month, Jo!”

“I assure you, (trans people) do not love you back,” added “Matilda” star Mara Wilson. 

“Not all women menstruate and not all who menstruate are women,” replied I Support The Girls. “There are many girls, non-binary (folks), trans boys, and trans men who also get a period.  We recognize that language change can be uncomfortable.” 

Daniel Radcliff, star of “Harry Potter” also responded, saying, “Transgender women are women.  Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo (Rowling) or I.”

While the author didn’t post an official response to her critics, she did write a few follow up tweets, further defending her position, including, “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.”


GLAAD slams J.K. Rowling for ‘inaccurate and cruel’ transphobic comments: ‘There is no excuse’

Daniel Radcliffe responds to J.K. Rowling’s tweets about gender identity

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