Harry Potter Fan Sites Distance Themselves From J.K. Rowling Over Anti-Trans Views
J.K. Rowling has responded after two Harry Potter fan sites publicly distanced themselves from the author amid the backlash surrounding her anti-trans comments.
The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, said they would no longer be posting links to the author’s personal site, using photographs of her or noting her achievements that aren’t linked to Harry Potter.
The two sites released a joint statement saying they believed Rowling’s views on ‘marginalised people’ are ‘out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community.’
‘Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused,’ they wrote.
‘Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received, we must reject her beliefs.’
However, Emerson Spartz, who initially founded MuggleNet, has spoken out in support of Rowling, insisting she is not transphobic.
‘After hours of stomach churning & frantic pacing, I decided that, as founder of MuggleNet, I have to say something. I can’t believe I have to say this, but @jk_rowling is NOT transphobic,’ he wrote.
Rowling responded by quoting his tweet, writing: ‘Thank you, Emerson, for being who I always thought you were.’
Alongside the tweet, she included a lightening bolt, no doubt to represent the scar on Harry Potter’s head.
It comes after Rowling made a number of comments implying that gender identity invalidates biological sex. It began in June when she mocked a headline about ‘people who menstruate’, sarcastically writing: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
The 53-year-old later wrote a 3,000 word article on her website titled: ‘J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues’.
In the piece, she explained why she is ‘worried about the new trans activism’, while also discussing her own history of domestic abuse.
Since her comments, a number of Harry Potter stars have spoken out in support of the trans community, starting with Daniel Radcliffe, who has worked closely with The Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to the LGBTQ+ community.
‘Transgender women are women. 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,’ he wrote as part of a lengthy statement.
Emma Watson tweeted: ‘Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.’
Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright have also expressed their support for the trans community.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.