After a series of tweets about transgender people Harry Potter-author J.K. Rowling got into an online storm. After the tweets, an essay of no less than 3,713 words in which J.K. Rowling further defended her position. Many fans now turn their back on the author and the actors who played the leading role in the filming of her world-famous books also join.
“Only menstruating men are women,” is the statement that J.K. Rowling got into a Twitter storm. The author soon received comments that she ruled out trans women with that statement, while incorrectly labeling trans men as women. But – it soon turned out – that was not a mistake, but a conscious choice.
J.K. Rowling about transgender people
After the first tweet, the Harry Potter-auteur namely still some tweets to defend her position. It showed that she does not recognize trans women and trans men as women and men respectively. According to her, your gender is therefore completely determined by your gender at birth and it is therefore not possible that you were born in the wrong body. According to her, trans men will always be women and trans women will always be men.
After those tweets, the storm of course did not stop. That’s why J.K. Rowling what she does best: writing down a book. In an essay of no less than 7 pages, the author further elaborated on her opinion about transgender people. It makes it clear that she still hasn’t changed her mind. The author is especially bothered that many people regret sex surgery. According to figures from a large-scale study by WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) from 2018, this concerns 0.27 percent of people who had sex surgery. The study used data from 46 physicians from different countries. All told, 22,725 sex surgeries were performed, of which a total of 62 people regretted and had another surgery.
But J.K. Rowling also cited personal reasons in her essay for not accepting transgender people. For example, she felt sexless in her youth after reading about transgender people. “I remember that after reading about the theory of gender identity, I felt mentally sexless. I had no realistic possibility of becoming a man in the 1980s. I had to help myself with books and music through my mental health issues and the sexualized control and judgments that have so many girls battling their own bodies in their teens. ”
In the same essay, J.K. Rowling also claims that she herself has been a victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse. She mentioned that because it was important to understand her background. “I didn’t write this essay because I hope someone will bring me a violin, not even one ieniemienie. I have mentioned my past because, like every other person on this planet, I have a complex background that influences my fears, interests and opinions. ”
It is therefore her own experience with sexual abuse that determines her opinions about transgender people. “If you could get inside my head and understand what I feel when I read about trans women dying at the hands of a violent man, you will find solidarity and kinship.” She also feels connected to the trans women who face violence. But she also sees dangers in transgender people. “I want trans women to be safe. But at the same time, I also don’t want girls and women born as women to be less safe. When you open the door of a public toilet or dressing room to every man who feels like a woman, you open the door to every man who wants to enter. That is the simple truth. ”
After Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson previously spoke out against the comments of J.K. Rowling, now also follows the third main character from the Harry Pottermovies. Rupert Grint, who takes on the role of Ron Weasley in the films, commented in the Times on the statements of J.K. Rowling.
“I strongly support the trans community and join what many of my peers feel. Trans women are women. Transmen are men. We should all have the opportunity to live with love and without judgment. ” A clear position for transgender people and therefore against J.K. Rowling.
The first actor to respond to J.K. Rowling was Daniel Radcliffe, who appeared in the films of Harry Potter the main role plays as the wizard of the same name. “Trans women are women. Any statement to the contrary removes the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against the advice of health professional organizations that have a lot more expertise on the subject than both Jo (Joanne Kathleen Rowling, ed.) or me.”
And also Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in Harry Potter) tweeted her support for the trans community. “Transgender people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told that they are not who they say they are.”
But it doesn’t stop there either Harry Potter-trio. Because also Eddie Redmayne, who plays the leading role in the films of the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts, spoke to Variety about J.K. Rowling. “Respect for transgender people is a cultural necessity and over the years I have tried to constantly update myself. That is an ongoing process. I do not agree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. ” Redmayne starred in the biographical film The Danish Girl a trans woman. He played the role of Lili Elbe, one of the first trans women to have sex surgery. Redmayne received an Oscar nomination for that role.