It’s summer, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and JESUS, KAREN Rowling has – bizarrely – gone on an anti-trans Twitter spree. This seems like an odd time to start trying to stamp out trans people, given that Black people are being actively murdered for reasons that would not stand up in a fair court of law, but whatever floats your boat, Karen. We don’t usually post as a group, but, as three Potterheads who are still waiting for their Hogwarts letters, we want to make this inescapably clear: We do not support this.
For anyone who’s not really following right now, J.K. Rowling, who already has a history of opposing basic rights for transgender people, was recently offended by an article that referred to “people who menstruate.” She then went on to offend other people with a handful of inane tweets that contained such gems as “Erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.” In other words, it’s all about her. In the middle of an extraordinarily difficult year that has already brought us a global pandemic, social upheaval, and murder hornets, she has decided that legally acknowledging transgender people by their chosen identities will somehow erase her own womanhood. She also tried to tell LGB people they were being erased along with her (“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction”) and then threw in the “Some of my best friends are [XYZ]” argument (“I know and love trans people”). You cannot claim to love trans people while in the same breath refusing to acknowledge their right to choose their own identities. Whether taken by themselves or set against the general backdrop of 2020, her tweets are ridiculous, egotistical, and self-indulgent.
Besides the obvious fact that her logic is completely bananas, her transphobia is particularly bewildering when viewed against the broader context of the Harry Potter series, which is built around the themes of love, acceptance, and overcoming misconceptions. I honestly don’t know which is more ironic, the fact that all of her hero characters would be horrified by her attitude or the fact that several actors from the Harry Potter films have openly disagreed with her, or the fact that Voldemort and Grindelwald would happily have adopted her rhetoric to justify their Muggle-born exterminations.
Can you imagine?
If you have the means, please consider donating to The Trevor Project. They are a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people younger than 25. If you’re sick of Rowling’s bullshit, Daniel Radcliffe published a very thoughtful, loving statement on their website. If you feel like you can’t look at the Harry Potter books the same way anymore, he has some thoughts on that too.
“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life – then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
If you’re looking to support Black trans people, please see this #BlackTransLivesMatter resource list. Besides providing a list of organizations to support, the creators of the document have included lists of books and articles to read, videos to watch, and podcasts to listen to.
As a final note, we would like to remind you all that the TERF community’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
If only Rowling had listened to her own wisdom.