J.K. Rowling’s comments in support of an anti-trans researcher have disappointed countless LGBTQ fans.
The “Harry Potter” author made a statement in solidarity with Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job at a think tank in London after expressing anti-trans views on social media. For example, Forstater tweeted that trans women are not women and that people should not be able to change their legal gender. She also tweeted that it’s “impossible to change sex.”
Forstater filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination, claiming that she was unfairly let go due to her “gender critical” views. On Wednesday, an employment tribunal upheld Forstater’s former job’s decision to let her go. The judge ruled that her beliefs are “absolutist” and “incompatible with human dignity and the fundamental rights of others.”
Rowling posted on Twitter that she stands with Forstater.
“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? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill,” she wrote.
The tweet caused an uproar among her 14.6 million followers, many of whom are now accusing Rowling of being a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).
Trans fans expressed heartbreak over Rowling’s tweet.
“I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape,” a trans woman wrote. “I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was. This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears… Why. Why?”
The author has long paid lip service to the queer community by making certain “Harry Potter” characters canonically gay. But as one cis woman wrote: “It’s not enough to support the LGB community at the expense of the trans community.”
Other Twitter users have turned Rowling’s comments into a meme.
J.K. Rowling: pic.twitter.com/GCFgII8yQT
— Tom Zohar (@TomZohar) December 19, 2019
Leading LGBTQ organizations, including HRC and GLAAD, also called Rowling out for her harmful post. GLAAD wrote that Rowling “has aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender.”
A Rowling representative told reporters that “there won’t be any comment from J.K. Rowling or her team on this issue.”