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J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Tweets and Trump’s Transphobia

The author of the famous Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, has been labeled “transphobic,” “cruel,” and a “bigot” after tweeting in support of her friend, Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job as a tax expert at the Center for Global development after suggesting that transgender people cannot change the biological sex they were born with. Maya Forstater is a  researcher who claimed online that there are only two biological sexes. As a result, she was fired by the U.K. think tank for questioning the government’s plans to allow people to self-identify as another gender.

The tweet said: “People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

This particular tweet appeared to be in response to a line that described the “menstrual health and hygiene needs of girls, women, and all people who menstruate.”

Francis Cruz, Senior Media Studies major, commented, “she seems like a very ignorant individual who cannot grasp real struggle, which is ironic because she was homeless for quite a while before she hit it big.”

The actors of the Harry Potter franchise have spoken out against her opinion. Daniel Radcliffe tweeted in response that, “Transgender women are women.” Radcliffe wrote in a blog post for the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group, that “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

He noted that a Trevor Project survey found that 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination because of their gender identity. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities and not cause further harm,” he said.

Mr. Radcliffe also had a message for fans disappointed by the author’s comments: “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.”

“J.K. Rowling’s platform is built on top of readers who lost themselves in a fictional world of magic. Unfortunately — though she can claim to know and love trans people — her tweet shows an inability to understand the world we live in. Trans people — more than ever — are struggling to be understood in society. The tweet was undoubtedly insensitive to trans people,” said Senior English major, Jarrett Newman.

This wasn’t the first time the author has said something controversial. In December of last year, she tweeted, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?” Rowling’s tweet included hashtags such as #IStandWithMaya and #ThisIsNotaDrill. 

“She just comes off as ignorant and dumb. It’s also willful ignorance as she has been educated on transgenderism for years. As this is not the first time she’s caught flack for saying stuff like this. After years she still doesn’t understand the difference between sex and gender, having being corrected by actual physicians. She defines women by their ability to menstruate, which as we know, isn’t the case,” said Elijah Diaz, an alum of QC.

One can safely say that it is ignorance such as this that causes so many people to feel comfortable with their transphobic opinions. According to the Human Rights Campaign, Meri Mack is the 18th transgender or gender-non-conforming person to be slain in the U.S. in 2020. Mack was found shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment building around 6:15 A.M. July 2 in Dallas, TX. 

Additionally, the Trump-Pence Administration finalized the rule on section 1557 of the ACA that rolled back critical protections for LGBTQ people, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It is safe to say that if you have a platform, it should be used to spread awareness and to educate people on their transphobia. J.K. Rowling has received backlash for her transphobia so instead of spreading hate, we should educate our fellow peers.

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