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Jonathan Van Ness responds to JK Rowling: ‘We’re fighting for Black people and trans people and you’re doing this?’

Patrick Kelleher June 9, 2020
Jonathan Van Ness JK Rowling

Jonathan Van Ness (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) and JK Rowling (Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Jonathan Van Ness has slammed JK Rowling over her recent anti-trans Twitter comments.

The Queer Eye star criticised Rowling’s views on trans people and the timing of her comments as people around the world focus their energies on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Trans women are women,” Van Ness wrote on Twitter.

“Trans Black people and trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They’re dying.

“We’re fighting for Black people and trans people and you’re doing this?”

In a subsequent tweet, Van Ness shared a GoFundMe page for a homeless Black trans women fund, and thanked Rowling “for the reminder to donate”.

The Queer Eye grooming expert also posted a widely-shared “Harry Potter and the Audacity of This B***h” book cover, and said he regrets taking part in a recent web series where celebrities read sections of the first Harry Potter book.

Van Ness read the part of the Sorting Hat alongside Olivia Colman and Kate McKinnon in the series – but he now wishes he could take it back.

JK Rowling has come under fire over a series of tweets posted about the trans community.

Van Ness’s comments come after JK Rowling posted a series of tweets on Saturday (June 6) in which she took aim at trans people and inclusive language around menstruation.

Rowling tweeted an article and wrote: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

In a later tweet, she added: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.

“I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

The author has faced significant backlash over her comments. High profile queer cis women Sarah Paulson and Mara Wilson were quick to condemn her comments, and Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe released a firm statement in opposition to her views Tuesday (June 9).

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe said in a statement, released through The Trevor Project.

“Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

More: JK Rowling, Jonathan Van Ness

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