A little helper for JK Rowling just in time for Transgender Awareness Week

JK Rowling arriving for the World Premiere of "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 at Trafalgar Square in London on 07/07/2011
JK Rowling arriving for the World Premiere of "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt 2 at Trafalgar Square in London on 07/07/2011 Photo: Shutterstock

JK Rowling’s denial of scientific, biological, medical facts has a horrific real-world impact on people’s lives. As Daniel Radcliffe stated himself after her transphobic lengthy post this June, “According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people”. 

So in that vein, I created this 2-minute explainer to help not only JK Rowling, but anyone else who needs a little 101 on who we all are as human beings. Feel free to share it with friends and family who need an introduction.

Related: Trans History 101: Transgender Expression in Ancient Times

The explainer is bare-bones and binary, y’all so hold on tight if this is not news to you.

I understand gender exists upon a spectrum, or even a mosaic when you consider the beautiful combination of identity and expression. But there seems to be an apparent need to start at the basic principles of biology and work our way up from there – including acknowledging that one in every 100 people born in the United States are intersex, meaning that they have any combination of male and female sex tissue and/or hormones. 

Most of my trans friends are tired of explaining their identity and I often receive looks of puzzlement when I disclose that I’m cisgender. But why would we “other” our trans family by expecting them to label themselves as trans and not expect a cisgender person to share that they’re cis?

But often what we’re really talking about is sex, which is visible between our legs and kind of personal information to be sharing with the world. Whereas gender is between the ears, i.e. wired in our brains. Gender — something both cisgender and transgender people have — is actually three things:

  1. Who you know yourself to be.
  2. How you express yourself to the world.
  3. How the world sees you.

(JK Rowling knows these three things about herself too.)

I’ll let you watch the video to get the whole picture. But this Transgender Awareness Week I would like to honor and celebrate everyone who identifies as not cisgender. I call upon all of us to share trans stories, hire trans people, and educate ourselves about the glorious spectrum of gender. 

And I send love and light with the hope that JK Rowling and people around the world come to understand and respect scientific, biological, medical fact. 

Happy Trans Awareness Week, y’all!! 

Emmy-nominated and award-winning filmmaker Fiona Dawson hosts “NOW with Fiona”, sharing unexpected stories from the LGBTQ community of people being kind and courageous in the face of adversity.

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