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Trans folk and allies find the perfect way to celebrate JK Rowling’s birthday – by donating to trans charity Mermaids in her name

Lily Wakefield July 31, 2020
British author and screenwriter JK Rowling

British author and screenwriter JK Rowling. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty)

JK Rowling turns 55 today, but what do you get the anti-trans millionaire who has everything as a birthday gift? Luckily, Twitter has figured it out.

Trans and queer folk and their allies have been celebrating JK Rowlng’s birthday – her first since she came out swinging for the “gender critical” movement – by donating money in her name to Mermaids, a charity which supports trans youth.

In honour of the special occasion, one Twitter user wrote: “Happy Birthday JK Rowling! To celebrate, I’ve donated £5 to ‘Mermaids in your name, a charity that supports rather than demonises the trans community.

“Perhaps others can do the same. Have a lovely day.”

As the one-item birthday gift guide for the Harry Potter author began circulating on social media, more and more LGBT+ people and allies said they were doing the same.

“I don’t have much to my name,” wrote one. “But I wanted to put what little money I have where my mouth is. Consider gifting JK Rowling a donation to Mermaids to support young trans people.

“Happy Birthday JK Rowling and thank you for inspiring this opportunity to combat discrimination.”

One Twitter user found a way to donate not just in JK Rowling’s name, but in a roundabout way, out of her pocket.

They wrote: A bandwagon I’m happy to jump onto! I’d also like to add that I’m disabled and on benefits so it’s almost as if JK herself is donating with her taxes. Happy birthday babes.”

A spokesperson for Mermaids told PinkNews: “We have received a great deal of support today from people around the world searching for a way to express their love for trans kids and their families.

“As Hermione Granger once said: ‘Sometimes friendship means not having to say anything. Thank yous and apologies can sometimes get lost, but that doesn’t mean they’re unexpressed.’

“From the bottom of our hearts, your support means the world to us.”

A “gender-critical feminist” paid for a JK Rowling birthday poster, but it was removed two days later.

This week Posie Parker, one of Britain’s most well-known voices in the “gender-critical movement”, paid for a poster to be put up at Scotland’s busiest railway station reading “I ❤ JK Rowling”.

Parker explained on a YouTube live stream titled “For the love of Rowling…” that she was “very pleased” with herself, stressing that it “cost a lot of money” to install the sign to celebrate Rowling’s 55th birthday.

Just two days later, however, the Scotland wing of Network Rail told PinkNews that the poster was taken down for violating its advertising guidelines.

“This advert is no longer displayed at Edinburgh Waverley,” a spokesperson said Thursday (July 30).

“The poster in question is against our code of acceptance for advertising in our stations owing to its political nature.

“We do not allow advertising that is likely to support or promote one viewpoint over another.”

More: donation, Happy Birthday, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, mermaids, Twitter

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