“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she wrote, referring to the backlash she was receiving online.
The Fantastic Beasts author then tweeted, “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.”
Singer and music producer Brad Walsh also responded to the author’s claims on Twitter, writing, “You’re a smart person. How do you not yet understand the difference between sex and gender? The only way I can possibly explain your ignorance at this point is willfulness. It’s incredibly disappointing.”
He added, “Ok muting now because the TERFs are out.”
TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is a term that the author has been referred to as before. In December of last year, the author became a trending topic once again on Twitter after publicizing her support for British researcher Maya Forstater who has also been criticized as being transphobic. According to NBC News at the time, in tweets and Slack messages from 2018, Forstater criticized proposed changes to the United Kingdom’s Gender Recognition Act of 2004 that allowed people to self-identify their gender.
If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. 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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020