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“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling continues support for extreme anti-transgender rhetoric

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling Photo: Shutterstock

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, is once again drawing criticism for liking anti-transgender rhetoric on Twitter.

Rowling, who has a strong Twitter presence, has liked transphobic tweets in the past, although her publicist said that the author clicked “like” by accident in a “clumsy and middle-aged moment.”

Related: Mark Hamill, Jameela Jamil & other celebs are calling out J.K. Rowling for anti-trans tweet

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This past December, Rowling tweeted that “sex is real,” a common statement used by transphobes to imply that sex assigned at birth determines a person’s entire life, effectively erasing gender identity.

She used the hashtag #IStandWithMaya in that tweet, a reference to British anti-transgender activist Maya Forstater, who lost her job at a progressive organization for her statements about transgender women, including “men cannot change into women” and that transphobia against trans women only “hurts men’s feelings.”

Over the weekend, Rowling liked a tweet from anti-transgender activist Fred Sargeant. On Twitter, Sargeant frequently advocates that it’s “time to remove the T from same-sex advocacy groups” and that transgender women can’t be oppressed because they’re assigned male at birth.

The tweet in question wasn’t on a different topic. Sargeant wrote about Alex Drummond, a Welsh trans woman who has a beard, calling her “an adult human male who claims to be a lesbian.”

She “believes that real lesbians who aren’t into penises are transphobic and should be excluded from the lesbian community,” according to Sargeant, who misgendered her by calling her “this guy.”

Sargeant did not link to a source that showed that Drummond had criticized cisgender lesbians as transphobic. If anything, this 2015 interview with Buzzfeed says that she’s in a monogamous relationship with a woman and said, “As a woman I regularly get complimented on how I look,” not betraying any of the bitterness Sargeant attributed to her.

Rowling’s publicist has not yet said whether this is another “clumsy and middle-aged moment.”

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