JK Rowling has been condemned once more for spreading misinformation about the transgender community.
She now claims that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is “a new kind of conversion therapy” for young LGB+ people.
On Sunday, July 5, Rowling was accused of liking a tweet which compared HRT to antidepressants.
The tweet read: “Yes they are sometimes necessary and lifesaving, but they should be a last resort. Pure laziness for those who would rather medicate than put in the time and effort to heal people’s minds.”
Rowling then claimed that the screenshot of the liked tweet misrepresented her views and preceeded to post 11 tweets to clarify her opinion on mental health and trans women.
“I’ve ignored fake tweets attributed to me and RTed widely,” Rowling wrote. “I’ve ignored porn tweeted at children on a thread about their art. I’ve ignored death and rape threats. I’m not going to ignore this.
“I’ve written and spoken about my own mental health challenges, which include OCD, depression and anxiety. I did so recently in my essay ‘TERF Wars’. I’ve taken anti-depressants in the past and they helped me.”
Rowling then refers to trans healthcare procedures as “new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people”.
She continued: “As I’ve said many times, transition may be the answer for some. For others, it won’t – witness the accounts of detransitioners.”
Figures released by Stonewall indicate that detransitioning is a very rare occurrence. A 2019 study showed that less than 1% of trans patients surveyed who spoke to the NHS Gender Identity Service between 2017 and 2018 expressed regrets about transition of had detransitioned.
Rowling’s latest series of tweets have been met with widespread criticism.
Model Munroe Bergdorf tweeted: “JK Rowling is not a scientist. She is not a doctor. She is not an expert on gender. She is not a supporter of our community. She is a billionaire, cisgender, heterosexual, white woman who has decided that she knows what is best for us and our bodies. This is not her fight.
“If you want to know what is best for trans people. Listen to trans people. More specifically, listen to black trans women who are navigating Covid-19, racism & transphobia. Listen to supportive parents of trans kids who have watched their kids flourish after being listened to.”
Artist Juno Birch tweeted: “JK Rowling needs to be quiet immediately she is literally harming the trans community, she apparently just posted the clinic I went to as a child and said that they are experimenting on us, when in fact the Tavistock clinic saved my life.”
Transgender charity Mermaids responded by calling Rowling’s thread “unfortunate” and “inaccurate”, sharing a link to an open letter it had previously published addressed to the author.
We're hearing some deeply concerning news from young people and parents today following the latest irresponsible tweets from #JKRowling. Please, if you're struggling, contact us. We see you. We respect you. We will listen. You're not alone.https://t.co/UjE37LWOe4
— Mermaids (@Mermaids_Gender) July 6, 2020
Two of the biggest Harry Potter fan sites Leaky Caukdron and Mugglenet have distanced themselves from the author saying they will not provide links to Rowling’s website or use photos of the author.
In a joint statement, they said Rowling’s tirade of “harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person” during Pride Month and her views on “marginalised people [are] out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community”.
Many actors from the Harry Potter series had previously spoken in support of trans community following anti-trans tweets from JK Rowling in early June.
In late June, Rowling was accused of homophobia for liking a number of tweets opposing a ban on conversion therapy in Canada.
In early June, she faced a tirade of criticism after she posted a number of anti-trans tweets. In response to an article titled ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate,’ she tweeted, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
In late 2019, JK Rowling came under fire for similar comments after tweeting her support for a British researcher whose employment contract was terminated over transphobic remarks.
Twitter also uncovered that Rowling’s pen name, “Robert Galbraith,” also happens to be the name of an infamous conversion therapist. While this may be sheer coincidence, Rowling has yet to comment.
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