J.K. Rowling faced intense and rightfully-deserved backlash over the weekend for supporting transphobic sentiments in a series of social media posts.
The backlash began on Saturday night, after the Harry Potter author, 57, appeared to mock an article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”
“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?“ Rowling wrote, with many calling out her comments as being transphobic.
“This is so disgraceful,” wrote “Same Love” singer Mary Lambert. “Of all the hills to die on, and for what reason? Trans women are women and they are fighting for their lives. When you push this trans exclusionary agenda, you make their lives infinitely more difficult. Shame on you.”
Survivor alum Zeke Smith, who is a transgender man went on to reply, “Hi! I’m a man! I menstruate! Stop being an asshole!” with others pointing out that people who are non-binary and gender-nonconforming can also have periods.
Period tracker Clue went on to explain that “using non-gendered language is about moving beyond the idea that woman = uterus” and that “Menstruation is a biological function; not a ‘woman thing.’ It’s unnecessary to gender body parts.”
Although Rowling, who has previously come under fire for supporting a British researcher who was fired for making anti-transgender comments, went on to assure her followers that she supports transgender rights, she continued to express similar sentiments.
“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,” she 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,” Rowling added.
In addition to saying Rowling’s opinions were “ruining” their favorite childhood books, many celebrities continued to speak out against the author.
“Goodnight and shut up @jk_rowling,” wrote actress Sarah Paulson, while Anthony Rapp wrote that it was “horrifying that a hugely powerful, super rich white lady chose to double- and triple- and quadruple-punch down on the #Trans community.”
“Failure to express empathy for trans women, trans men & nonbinary folk shows us exactly who you are. You spitefully Pushing These words that connect with those of people who do not want us recognized legally in public spaces,” wrote RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Peppermint.
Chasten Buttigieg noted how “disappointed in Rowling” he was for failing to understand that “trans women are women.” He went on to explain that as “an author who convinced many young children (especially closeted kids like me) that if people worked together they could build a better and more just world where all belonged,” he doesn’t understand why she refuses “to be a part of the kinder world she once wrote of.”
“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,” GLAAD wrote in a statement. “We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets.”
The organization went on to encourage those who were feeling “rightful anger over JK Rowling’s latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people.”