J.K. Rowling Is Under Fire For Making Controversial Remarks About Trans People On Twitter

On Saturday J.K. Rowling decided to make some controversial comments about trans people. The author — one of the most successful of her kind in history — took to her frequently updated Twitter account to share a story about creating better gender equality in our future post-Covid world. But she didn’t just tweet it out. She also, despite being a friend of the gay community, added a joke about trans people.

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

This did not go over well. Rowling may have created one of the most popular franchise in the modern world, but that did not protect her from people righteously angry that she’d say something insensitive about people who are already targets for harassment and violence. So, as many celebrities do when they say something that is, to put it mildly, deeply unpopular, she explained herself by way of doubling down.

“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” Rowling wrote about a half hour later. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Rowling then tried to back-pedal a bit, claiming that labeling her anti-trans is “nonsense,” and that she’s “been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence.” She concluded by saying, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

Many disagreed. Rowling was roundly condemned by the trans community and its allies, among them Jameela Jamil, whose response was simple: She asked the fabulously wealthy author to prove that she stood with trans people by charitably donating to a GoFundMe for homeless black trans women.

Jamil also made sure to underline the absurdity of a wildly popular author putting her legacy on the line in such a fashion.

Jonathan Van Ness was more outspoken in his outrage.

As was Sarah Paulson.

And Anthony Rapp.

GLAAD criticized her by directing attention to a number of organizations help black trans people.

This isn’t the first time Rowling has been criticized for aligning herself with anti-trans beliefs. Last December she publicly sided with a researcher who was fired for making comments against the trans community, prompting a blacklash that, all in all, wasn’t as large as this.