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JK Rowling inadvertently sparked a huge surge in donations to trans charity Mermaids

Lily Wakefield August 6, 2020
JK Rowling trans donation birthday

A birthday cake is lit for Harry Potter and JK Rowling at the launch of the new Harry Potter script books outside Asia Books in Bangkok on July 31, 2016. (LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty)

UK trans youth charity Mermaids saw donations shoot up by more than a third in the week around JK Rowling’s birthday.

Rowling has been increasingly vocal in her views on trans people in recent months, putting her weight behind the anti-trans “gender critical” movement in an explosive and controversial Twitter thread during Pride month, and later an essay on her website. 

The author turned 55 on July 31, and as the LGBT+ community scrambled for what to get her, some posted on social media that they would be donating in her name to Mermaids.

The idea spread like wildfire on social media, and now Mermaids has revealed to PinkNews that it saw a 36 percent increase in total donations in the week of the author’s birthday, compared to the three previous weeks in July.

On the big day itself, a spokesperson for Mermaids told PinkNews: “We have received a great deal of support 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.”

Hermione Granger herself, actor Emma Watson, is one of many Harry Potter stars to come out swinging for trans rights in the wake of Rowling’s comments.

“Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” she tweeted to her 29.1 million followers after Rowling published her infamous “TERF Wars” essay.

Mermaids helps trans and gender-diverse children and their families, and provides secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.

The charity also aims to educate the wider public about the trans experience and the issues facing trans kids.

Earlier this year, Feminist London bookshop The Second Shelf said it would donate money to Mermaids every time they sold a book by JK Rowling.

Several people on social media pointed out that this was a similar scheme to carbon offsetting, but for those with anti-trans views.

 

 

More: birthday, Charity, donations, JK Rowling, mermaids, trans kids

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