J.K. Rowling sparks outrage after tweeting support for an anti-transgender researcher

The Harry Potter author is facing accusations of transphobia

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling became the subject of criticism after she tweeted support for researcher Maya Forstater, whose views on transgender people were described by a court as “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

After getting fired from her job last year at a think tank in London, Forstater filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging discrimination based on what she called her “gender critical” views. Among these personal views of her, which she publicly shares on Twitter, include the belief that “it is impossible to change sex.”

A labor court in London ruled against her on Wednesday, stating that her views were “not a philosophical belief protected” by British law but were instead “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others.” The tribunal also ruled that Forstater “does not hold the belief that transwomen are women,” believing positively that they are still men.

Unhappy with the result of the ruling, Rowling took to Twitter to express her support for 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,” read Rowling’s tweet.

Shortly after Rowling’s recent tweet went viral, some gay and transgender rights groups released statements criticizing the author.

“[Ms. Rowling had] now aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender.” Anthony Ramos, who leads GLAAD’s engagement with celebrities on L.G.B.T. issues, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign president, accused Rowling of being an anti-transgender fundamentalist and demanded the author to issue an apology. “J.K. Rowling says she’s opposed to fundamentalism in any form, but she’s promoting a harmful fundamentalism that endangers the L.G.B.T.Q. community — particularly transgender youth,” Mr. David said in a statement. “She should apologize.”

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Rowling’s controversial tweet seemingly confirmed the longstanding suspicion among some L.G.B.T. advocates that the novelist held negative views of transgender people. This notion first surfaced sometime in 2018 when she liked a tweet that referred to transgender women as “men in dresses.”

As expected, Harry Potter fans that support the rights of transgender people are hurt by Rowling’s tweet.

Rowling, who has declined an offer from GLAAD to have an off-the-record conversation about the controversy, has yet to address the uproar on Twitter.

Source: The New York Times