A group of trans and non-binary campaigners have written an open letter standing in solidarity with JK Rowling after the Sun published an interview with Rowling’s ex-husband with the headline: “I slapped JK and I’m not sorry.”
The activists said that while they vehemently oppose Rowling’s opinions of the trans and non-binary community, they offer their support following the “abhorrent” approach by the newspaper after Ms Rowling revealed she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
“Misogyny is a pervasive force and one that treats survivors and victims of sexual and domestic violence as bylines to their abuser’s story,” the trans and non-binary activists said in the letter to the Sun’s editor, Victoria Newton.
“We stand alongside JK Rowling in this cruel and malicious reporting, which sends a dangerous message to all survivors that their stories are only valid when corroborated by their abusers. It sends a message to all survivors of domestic and sexual violence that they will not be believed, and it is dangerous.”
Rowling detailed the domestic abuse and sexual assault in an essay in which she equated being transgender with a mental illness and compared it to eating disorders. Her comments have been widely criticised by trans campaigners and several members of the cast of Harry Potter.
Following the revelations made by Rowling about her first husband, the Sun tracked him down and interviewed him.
Many of the signatories are well-known trans and non-binary activists including Christine Burns, performance artist Travis Alabanza, journalist Shon Faye, writer Aidan Comerford, poet Roz Kaveney and writer Andrea Lawlor.
The signatories called for the Sun to apologise to Rowling and improve its reporting on domestic violence: “Though her disclosure of domestic violence came in the middle of a long post detailing her anti-trans views, this does nothing to alter our unwavering solidarity with all survivors of domestic violence, including JK Rowling.
“We condemn your appalling and salacious front page; a violation of both dignity and privacy. Vulnerable groups should not be used to sell newspapers. As trans people we often fall victim to the same salacious reporting and stand against all misogyny and violence against women.”
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