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JK Rowling met with tidal wave of anger after using her enormous platform to send string of ‘hateful’ anti-trans tweets

Vic Parsons June 7, 2020
The Ickabog: Publishing staff down tools over JK Rowling's anti-trans tirade

Publishing staff are upset at J.K. Rowling's anti-trans tirade. (Getty)

JK Rowling has been met with a tidal wave of queer anger for using her enormous platform to send a string of “anti-trans” tweets during Pride month.

It’s not the first time the billionaire author has made controversial and hurtful statements about the transgender community – but while her PR team has previously blamed her liking “anti-trans” tweets on a “middle-aged moment“, Rowling has now simply doubled down.

Starting on Saturday night (June 7), JK Rowling posted a string of half a dozen tweets that have been shared so widely that “Rowling” and “Trans Women are Women” were both still trending on Twitter come the next morning.

It started when Rowling took issue with an article in Devex, the media platform for the global development community, with the headline: “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

Rather than directing her followers to, say, organisations fighting inequality during the deadly coronavirus pandemic that they could donate to, or sharing that she’d donated herself, Rowling decided to instead be offended at the phrase “people who menstruate”.

“‘People who menstruate’,” she wrote. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

To the sound of thousands of trans and non-binary people sighing and bracing for what would come next, Rowling sent another string of tweets that went viral across the internet.

I know and love trans people, but,” was perhaps Rowling’s finest moment, along with claiming that the idea that she hates trans people is “nonsense”.

“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” wrote the author.

Nominating herself spokesperson of the LGBT+ community with, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction”, white billionaire Rowling ended her Saturday night broadside by retweeting one of the founders of the anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance.

The LGB Alliance is a UK-based group that has refused to denounce its neo-Nazi supporters, has ties to homophobic right-wing US hate groups, and whose co-founder, Malcolm Clark – the one who JK Rowling retweeted – says there shouldn’t be LGBT+ clubs in schools because of “predatory gay teachers“.

Needless to say, the rage of the queer community at another attack on its most vulnerable siblings was swift.

Harry Potter author’s tweets provoke wave of support for trans community from lesbian, gay and bisexual allies.

With the number of people following JK Rowling on Twitter falling by the minute, trans allies have been quick to make it clear that Rowling’s views are in the minority.

Hundreds of people used the hashtag #IStandWithTransPeople to show that they oppose hateful views about trans people.

LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD responded proactively with a list of organisations that support Black trans people, for those who want to direct their rightful anger at JK Rowling into something positive.

And yet more people used the hashtag #TransWomenAreWomen to show their support for trans women.

Feminist writer outlines support for the trans community after JK Rowling tweets.

Feminist writer Flavia Dzodan, whose work JK Rowling has tweeted about in the past, tweeted her thoughts on the situation to JK Rowling directly.

“Dear @jk_rowling until now you still follow me, which means maybe you found what I had to say of some interest,” Dzodan said.

“You’re a beloved billionaire children’s author and I’m just a haphazard writer outside traditional publishing but I’d like to say something about harm to trans people.

While no one tweet can sum of the rage and solidarity of thousands of trans allies, an independent “lending library” in Ireland came close.

“Let’s not let the ‘British boarding schools but magic’ lady take the focus away from the work done today,” tweeted the Small Trans Lending Library, which lends trans-authored books to trans people.

More: anti-trans, JK Rowling, lgb alliance, malcolm clark, terf, trans exclusionary radical feminism, trans rights are human rights, trans women are women

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