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White cis man Jonathan Ross defines transphobia for trans people while mass-blocking prominent LGBT+ activists

Josh Milton June 8, 2020
Jonathan Ross (L) has backed JK Rowling amid a torrent of criticism for the author tweets on trans lives. (Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images/Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Jonathan Ross (L) has backed JK Rowling amid a torrent of criticism for the author tweets on trans lives. (Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images/Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Jonathan Ross announced Sunday evening (June 7) that he has become a representative of the entire LGBT+ community as he sought to defend JK Rowling over her comments on trans people and define what is and isn’t transphobia.

Rowling was, in recent weeks, prosaically sharing pictures doodled by children of her new book series, The Ickabog, before she suddenly weighed in on trans folk and how, she said, they’re not “discriminated against”.

And seemingly straight from the Rowling playbook, the British TV presenter innocuously tweeted that he ate “too many brownies” before abruptly proclaiming that Rowling is “right and magnificent”.

“For those accusing her of transphobia,” the 59-year-old continued, “please read what she wrote.

“She clearly is not.”

Jonathan Ross: LGBT+ people slam comedian for defending JK Rowling.

Backlash immediately brewed against Ross, with many LGBT+ Twitter users flaying Ross for using his thumping platform to define what transphobia is.

Bizarrely, anger also turned to confusion, as some high-profile members of the LGBT+ community, including PinkNews staffers, reported that Ross had, at some point recently, blocked them on Twitter.

So, what did JK Rowling actually say and was it ‘anti-trans’?

According to trans folk who have, you know, directly experienced and are still experiencing transphobia, yes.

Rowling, 54, amid a series of cascading tinderbox issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations as well as less than a week into LGBT+ Pride Month, decided now was the perfect time to hit that send button and tweet about trans folk.

The children’s book author took to Twitter Saturday evening (June 6) to comment on people’s genitalia. She focused a thread on her views of sex and gender in relation to trans people that sparked fury online.

Rowling’s thread was first seeded earlier that evening, when she shared 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.”

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

In the avalanche of tweets that followed, she sought to reassure her 14.5 million followers that she “knows and loves trans people” and claimed that the idea 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 writer.

“I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans,” she capped off the thread.

PinkNews has contacted Jonathan Ross’ representatives for comment.

 

More: JK Rowling, Jonathan Ross, Trans, transphobia, Twitter

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