The power of Twitter. On Saturday, June 6, author J.K. Rowling came under fire after posting multiple tweets that seemingly slammed the trans community.
The controversy began when the Harry Potter creator, 54, shared an article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” In addition to linking to the post, she tweeted, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
When receiving angry responses that explained that transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people can menstruate, the author claimed that she has done her research.
“I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is,” the producer tweeted. “Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge.”
Rowling then shared many more tweets about sex.
“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 wrote. “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense. I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
Her messages caused quite an uproar on social media, leading to reactions by celebrities as well as the LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD.
“If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling’s latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MPJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride,” the official GLAAD account tweeted on Saturday. “JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people. We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets.”
GLADD added, “By the way, looking for some summer reading? ‘Percy Jackson’ author Rick Riordan isn’t transphobic.”
This isn’t the first time Rowling has come under fire for her tweets. In December 2019, she faced backlash after publicly supporting British researcher Maya Forstater who was fired after making transphobic comments.
Scroll through the gallery for more celeb reactions to Rowling’s latest comments.