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Writer has two pieces of advice for trans Harry Potter fans feeling ‘hurt and betrayed’ by JK Rowling

Reiss Smith December 20, 2019
JK Rowling

JK Rowling at the Broadway opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (Getty)

Hurt JK Rowling fans have been given sage advice on how to approach the Harry Potter series after the author backed a woman whose anti-trans views were ruled “absolutist.”

Rowling was accused of “transphobia” after she voiced her support for Maya Forstater, a cis woman who lost a legal bid to have her “gender-critical views” recognised as a protected belief under the Equality Act.

The author said that she stood with Forstater, questioning why women should be “force[d] out of their jobs for stating that sex is real.”

Forstater had worked as a researcher at a think tank, but did not have her contract renewed after tweeting her opposition to proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Her belief that “even if a trans woman has a Gender Recognition Certificate, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman” was ruled “not worthy of respect in a democratic society” by an employment tribunal judge.

Rowling’s support for Forstater upset countless LGBT+ fan who have previously found solace in the Harry Potter books.

Harry Potter fans told their love ‘is still valid.’

Writer Laura Shortridge-Scott advised Potter fans to try to separate the art from the author if they wanted to continue enjoying the series.

“Your love for the books is still valid,” she said.

“The books don’t have transphobic themes & the newer stuff has been trash for ages.

“It’s also OK if you want nothing to with the books anymore.”

She also recommend the late fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett as an inclusive alternative, pointing to the Discworld character Cheri Littlebottom.

In Pratchett’s series, Littlebottom is a woman dwarf who breaks from the tradition of her kind all presenting as male, regardless of gender.

She begins presenting as a woman and starts using she/her pronouns, in what is widely read as an allegory for the trans experience.

Queer screenwriter Ashly Perez also had some wisdom directly from the books to share for “heartbroken trans Harry Potter fans.”

“Remember what Hagrid said after being outed as half-giant,” she wrote.

“‘I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.””

GLAAD has publicly condemned Rowling, saying that the views held by Forstater “put trans people at risk.”

“J.K. Rowling, whose books gave kids hope that they could work together to create a better world, has now aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender,” Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s head of talent, told Variety.

“Trans men, trans women and non-binary people are not a threat, and to imply otherwise puts trans people at risk. Now is the time for allies who know and support trans people to speak up and support their fundamental right to be treated equally and fairly.”

Rowling’s representatives declined to comment on this story when approached by PinkNews.

More: Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Trans

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