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Author Terry Pratchett was an unflinching trans ally, say the trans fans who met him

Emma Powys Maurice August 6, 2021
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Terry Pratchett

Discworld author Terry Pratchett pictured in 2008 (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

Claims that the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett would’ve been anti-trans have prompted a flood of transgender fans to share their happy memories of meeting the inclusive author.

The prolific fantasy author was famed for his seminal Discworld series, which used puns and parody to explore themes of humanity, morality, genre tropes and gender norms.

Pratchett tragically died of Alzheimer’s in 2015 but remains a treasured figure in the sci-fi and fantasy community. So when his daughter, Rhianna, was forced to shut down the anti-trans campaigners trying to co-opt her father’s legacy, the Discworld fandom refused to stand for it.

Scores of readers who knew and loved Pratchett cited multiple examples of trans-inclusivity in his written work, definitively proving the author wouldn’t have touched transphobia with a bargepole. Yet many “gender critical” people stubbornly insisted it was impossible to know his opinions on trans rights as he died six years ago.

A flood of trans fans begged to differ. One by one, they came forward with touching anecdotes of a man who infused his life with love and kindness and extended this to everyone he met, regardless of gender identity.

Terry Pratchett was an unflinching trans ally

“I met Sir Terry several times during my transition. My trans friends did the same,” recalled one. “He was a great supporter, sadly missed. His fan chat rooms were a haven of trans rights and we met there everyday to have people to talk to.

“He treated us like people at a time others wouldn’t.”

Another trans person described meeting Terry Pratchett at a book signing before her transition. Ever perceptive, the author picked up on her subtle hesitation over her name and responded with grace and tact.

And the stories kept coming – stories that proved Sir Terry was an undeniable trans ally in the years before his death.

Another cis fan wrote to Rhianna Pratchett to share her memory of meeting the author at a convention, where they discussed her thesis on Pratchett’s approach to politics and gender in Discworld.

Finally, Pratchett’s longtime friend and collaborating author Neil Gaiman succinctly summarised Terry’s position for anyone still in any doubt.

“Terry was wise and Terry was kind. Terry understood that people were complicated, contradictory and, always people, and that people can and do change,” he said.

“As Rhiannon Pratchett says, he would have had no time for this nonsense.”

Related topics: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, transphobia

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