Right-Wing Media Is Weaponizing J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Tweets

The remarks "inspired thousands of people to post views that delegitimize trans identities," according to Media Matters for America.

It’s exactly what transgender advocates feared.

Right-wing publications are already using J.K. Rowling’s latest batch of transphobic tweets to push their anti-transgender agenda. As Media Matters for America (MMFA) reports, outlets like Fox News and TheBlaze wasted no time, weaponizing the Harry Potter author’s most recent comments about “biological sex” to perpetuate debunked myths about trans women endangering cisgender women and girls in public spaces.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, an ultra-conservative organization designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, also issued a tweet in support of Rowling’s comments.

In a statement to NewNowNext, MMFA researcher Alex Paterson said the British author’s remarks “inspired thousands of people to post views that delegitimize trans identities, making it even harder for trans people to live in public without the threat of violence and erasure.”

“Rowling’s Pride Month endorsement of right-wing misinformation lends credence to anti-LGBTQ activists, who need no help in advancing their bigoted agendas, and adds fuel to the already rampant levels of harassment trans people face both online and off,” Paterson added.

As NewNowNext reported earlier this week, Rowling came under fire for being transphobic yet again when she mocked an article about menstrual health during the COVID-19 pandemic that used trans-inclusive language.

“’People who menstruate,'” the author tweeted. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

When LGBTQ activists and queer Harry Potter fans called her out, Rowling doubled down on the harmful rhetoric, later uploading a lengthy “explanation” digging her deeper into a hole on her website.

“On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one,” she wrote. “To use a very contemporary word, I was ’triggered.'”

Meanwhile, other celebrities in the Harry Potter universe—including OG Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, as well as Fantastic Beasts prequels star Eddie Redmayne—have publicly denounced Rowling’s transphobia.

Radcliffe even penned a response to the author’s comments on The Trevor Project’s blog, citing statistics about the high incidence of discrimination trans and non-binary people encounter because of their gender identity.

“Transgender women are women,” he wrote. “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.”

It’s too bad we can’t Obliviate Rowling’s transphobia—and its dangerous repercussions—from our memory.

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