On Wednesday, June 10, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling defended her alleged transphobic tweets with a lengthy statement posted to her website. The 3,600 word essay came just after the writer received major backlash from fans and celebrities, after she retweeted an article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate” on June 6, 2020, then continued to speak about trans issues in a subsequent Twitter thread.
Now, the 54-year-old said, “it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity.” First, she addressed a similar scandal from December 2019, where she shared her support for a British researcher who lost her job because of transphobic comments on social media. Then, J.K. added that her “interest in this issue has been professional, because I’m writing a crime series, set in the present day, and my fictional female detective is of an age to be interested in, and affected by, these issues herself.”
She then went on to address the hateful comments and accusations of being a “TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) on social media, before clarifying her stance on transgender issues.
“I’ve got five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism, and deciding I need to speak up,” she said, going through all the points. “We’re living through the most misogynistic period I’ve experienced.”
J.K. also claimed that she has been “researching this issue properly” for a while, and listed various psychiatrists and physicians who support her points. She also discussed her “first violent marriage” and said that she believes “the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined.”
“Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners” she added. “So, I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.”
Before finishing her essay, J.K. told readers, “Of course trans rights are human rights and of course trans lives matter.”
“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces,” she concluded. “All I’m asking — all I want — is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.”
“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” the actor said, according to Us Weekly. “This is an ongoing process. As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”
He continued, “I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
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