J.K. Rowling Is Under Fire for Publicly Siding With a Transphobe

The "Harry Potter" author's latest tweet has many calling her a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

J.K. Rowling might have written some of the most famous children’s books of all time, but her views on trans issues are… well, unpopular, to say the least.

Early Thursday morning, the author and brains behind the Harry Potter books broke a monthlong Twitter silence to voice her support of Maya Forstater, a British researcher and cisgender woman who claimed she lost her job over anti-transgender tweets she’d written stating that “biological sex” is an immutable fact.

Forstater tried to push back at her employer’s decision not to renew her contract after she’d used “offensive and exclusionary language,” escalating the situation to the courts. As The Guardian reported on Wednesday, judges in a U.K. employment tribunal ruled against her, determining that her transphobic views “did not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief,” meaning she could lawfully be penalized for publicizing them.

Plus, as some pointed out on social media, Forstater wasn’t technically let go because of her opinions: She actually lost her job because she failed to recognize the legal rights of trans Brits who’ve transitioned, even if it “violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment.”

Forstater tweeted out her “shock and disbelief” at the decision, but she wasn’t alone. Rowling chimed in, too, continuing her longstanding habit of offering insight absolutely nobody anywhere asked for:

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

For many LGBTQ Twitter users, Rowling’s support of Forstater’s anti-transgender sentiment confirmed a lingering suspicion that the author is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF.

Though most didn’t seem too surprised by the revelation, it was still a “heartbreaking” conclusion for many fans of Rowling and Harry Potter. Activists like Human Rights Campaign communications team member Charlotte Clymer, author Amanda Jetté Knox, and ACT UP NYC organizer Jason Rosenberg all shared their dismay at Rowling siding with Forstater.

Journalist Katelyn Burns, who is transgender, also reposted a deep dive she’d penned for Them last March into whether Rowling was a TERF.

“For the trans community, this is another reminder that we absolutely cannot ever have heroes,” Burns tweeted.

In March, Rowling was dragged on Twitter for stating retroactively that Albus Dumbledore and his purported love interest Gellert Grindelwald had an “incredibly intense… love relationship” with a “sexual dimension.”

Whether that “incredibly intense” gay relationship ever makes it to the big screen in the Fantastic Beasts prequel films remains to be seen.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella