Author Terry Pratchett was an unflinching trans ally, say the trans fans who met him
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.”
I met Sir Terry several times during my transition. My trans friends did the same. He was a great supporter, sadly missed.
His fan chat rooms were a haven of trans rights and we met there every day to have people to talk to.
He treated us like people at a time others wouldn’t. https://t.co/F2ZpeWHTO8
— Zoë Kirk-Robinson (@ZoeKirkRobinson) July 31, 2021
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.
Terry whomst, at a book signing, asked my name, and being a young egg, I told him, adding “for now” so he leaned in, asked what it *will* be, and signed my copy of Guards Guards ambiguously enough that it can be read either way.
He was the first human to know of Tal https://t.co/s0RPPKm6AF
— Talluwulalalahhh (@thetallulahhh) August 3, 2021
That copy got away from me a long time ago somewhere in my preference for bookshelf communism, so if you have a signed Guards Guards for “T~~”, now you know
— Talluwulalalahhh (@thetallulahhh) August 3, 2021
And the stories kept coming – stories that proved Sir Terry was an undeniable trans ally in the years before his death.
I first met Terry Pratchett when I was 16 years old at the twinning of Ankh-Morpork with Wincanton in 2002. I was a scrawny genderqueer kid visibly, if raggedly, attempting masc of centre. He complimented me on my burnt cork moustache.
— Natasha Kindred (@mxmarchpane) July 31, 2021
Can confirm that when living in the UK I met Terry Pratchett at a convention while trans & he was lovely and didn’t seem at all shocked, surprised or upset. Facts are real, tone is sarcastic.
— Alex Iantaffi (@XTaffi) August 4, 2021
As a very good friend of @rhipratchett and I am a transsexual woman too I can say that @terryandrob would in no way ever have been with GC at all. He was lovely to me and had always supported diversity. If you do not know people first hand you have no idea what you are saying!
— Donna Whitbread (@DonnaWhitbread1) August 1, 2021
He would say “sorry! Young man” he was smart an kind and you can acknowledge all that without weaponizing a dead man
— guess who’s back-back again (@sidescoob) August 5, 2021
I remember chatting with Terry at DWCons, alongside a large group of friends that inluded trans people. He had no issues with any of us, no matter what our shape, size or gender presentation. He was far more worried that the feegles’ body paint might stain the hotel’s chairs.
— 🕷️🇪🇺 🇬🇧 Uitlander #YouWonGetOverIt (@Uitlander) July 31, 2021
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.
At his last DiscworldCon I got to talk to your dad about my BA thesis, which I’d written on how he used Discworld to discuss IRL politics – including gender. This was taken while we chatted. Your dad was fabulous, and I’m so sorry you’re having to speak on this. ❤ pic.twitter.com/LgD2Nzc408
— Dame Judi Hench (@dame_judi_hench) July 31, 2021
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.”
Terry was wise and Terry was kind. Terry understood that people were complicated, contradictory and, always people, and that people can and do change. As @rhipratchett says, he would have had no time for this nonsense. (See also: Equal Rites, Monstrous Regiment, Feet of Clay.) https://t.co/ex2gQcFgYp
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) July 31, 2021