JK Rowling under fire from LGBT+ advocates over transphobic tweet

People have been voicing their outrage, shock, and heartbreak over Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeting her support for transphobic remarks.

J.K Rowling at a Harry Potter movie premiere brushing a strand of hair off her face

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has received widespread backlash after tweeting her support for a British researcher whose employment contract was terminated over transphobic remarks. 

Maya Forstater was discontinued from her job as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development after she tweeted her opposition to proposed Gender Recognition Act reforms. Following her dismissal, she took her case to an employment tribunal on the grounds that it was discriminatory to her beliefs. 

On Wednesday, Forstater’s case was dismissed. Employment judge James Tayler stated that she was “absolutist in her view of sex.”

Responding to the ruling, JK Rowling wrote on Twitter, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

People have been voicing their disappointment and heartbreak over the author’s transphobic remarks. One person wrote, “I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape. I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was. This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears… Why. Why?”

LGBT+ advocate and author Amanda Jetté Knox stated on Twitter, “My daughter, who is trans, is a big fan of yours. It breaks my heart to see you post something indicating that discrimination against her is perfectly fine behaviour for an employee. The world’s most credible medical orgs affirm trans people. Please catch up.”

Matilda actress Mara Wilson commented, “What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?” Her statement received the following response, “Matilda is the superior magic child.”

Pose actress Indya Moore wrote, “Not only does @jk_rowling and other Trans exclusionary radical/feminists passively weaponize their ideologies about sex to invalidate the identities/experience of binary trans people they also erase intersex people in the process.”

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill liked the author’s Tweet, however he later apologised for this. On Twitter, he wrote, “Ignorance is no excuse, but I liked the tweet without understanding what the last line or hashtags meant. It was the 1st 4 lines I liked & I didn’t realize it had any transphobic connotation.”

Despite there being an upsurge in criticism aimed at Rowling, many people and groups have voiced their support for the author. Her Tweet has stirred up individuals who seek to delegitimize trans people. LGB Alliance, a group that received backlash for being TERF earlier in the year, commented on her post, “This is fantastic to hear. We need more blue ticks speaking out in support of gender identity policy capture, and how it’s impacting the lives of women.”

Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan has retweeted Rowling’s tweet. He has also spoke against people who have voiced outrage at her comments. One Twitter user said that people should donate to Translifeline.org, under which Linehan responded, “Straight white men who want to be called ‘they’ need all the help they can get.”

JK Rowling has not made any follow up comments and the Tweet remains up on her Twitter page. It currently has 28.6k retweets and 146k likes. 

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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