J.K. Rowling unleashes string of anti-trans tweets

J.K. Rowling
JK Rowling Photo: Shutterstock

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has unleashed a string of anti-trans tweets today, making it crystal clear that she identifies with a fringe group of “feminists” who oppose transgender rights.

“I know and love trans people,” claims in one tweet that implies transgender people aren’t actually their lived gender before ending with, “It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Related: Bookstore trolls J.K. Rowling by donating money from her book sales to a transgender charity

Since March 28, at least seven transgender or gender non-conforming Americans have been violently killed.

“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” Rowling asserts in one string of tweets. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. 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.”

“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.”

Rowling is referring to a small group of women referred to as “transgender exclusionary radical feminists” or TERFs. They regularly harass transgender women online and have recently started to align with the religious right to oppose transgender rights. They insist that transgender women are not women.

“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.”

Rowling took exception to the phrase “people who menstruate,” a common way to include transgender men and non-binary people who also may menstruate, in one tweet.

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

In other tweets, Rowling defended her previous statements, arguing with critics.

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

In 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.”

Last month, Rowling was retweeting children’s drawings of an upcoming character for a project she’s working on. But when she shared a nine-year-old girl’s sketch, she also included a line copied from an anti-transgender message that included the f-bomb and extremist rhetoric.

Rowling later apologized on Twitter to the girl’s parents and offered to send them an autographed copy of one of her books.

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