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JK Rowling criticizes ‘climate of fear’ surrounding trans debate
JK Rowling has urged an end to the “climate of fear” surrounding debate about transgender people after receiving “heartbreaking” letters from women who underwent “irreversible” gender confirmation surgery.
This comes after the “Harry Potter” author came under fire last summer for a series of tweets that many social-media users deemed transphobic.
“Many women are concerned about the challenges to their fundamental rights posed by certain aspects of gender identity ideology,” the 55-year-old billionaire told Good Housekeeping magazine in an interview. She added that since speaking up about the issue, she’s received a flurry of letters, more than 90% of which have been supportive.
Rowling’s correspondence reportedly included everyone from women’s shelter staff to members of the transgender community. The fantasy novelist claimed that many senders regretted the permanent change done to their bodies by reassignment procedures, as was the case with UK resident Keira Bell, 23, who recently sued the British National Health Service’s gender-identity youth clinic for prescribing her puberty blockers at the age of 16.
Despite the outpouring of support, Rowling claimed that people are “afraid to speak up because they fear for their jobs and even for their personal safety.”
“This climate of fear serves nobody well, least of all trans people,” the “Fantastic Beasts” scribe said. Rowling called for a “more nuanced conversation around women’s rights and around the huge increase in numbers of girls and young women who are seeking to transition.”
Rowling sparked controversy in June after criticizing an article that used the term “people who menstruate” instead of “women.”
“People who menstruate,” she mocked in a Tweet to her 14.2 million followers. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
The writer defended her stance in a subsequent Tweet that read, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.”
That resulted in a fierce backlash from the trans community as well as “Harry Potter” film stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Eddie Redmayne.
The firestorm even spawned a Twitter hashtag #RIPJKRowling ahead of the release of Rowling’s latest novel, “Troubled Blood.” It suggested that she had killed her career by “proudly hating trans people.”