J.K. Rowling claims 90 per cent of fans sympathise with her transphobia

J.K. Rowling claims 90 per cent of fans sympathise with her transphobia

The hole keeps getting deeper for J.K. Rowling as her reputation continues to sink following attempts to defend her transphobia.

Over the past year, J.K. Rowling has left Harry Potter fans astonished by her insensitive comments towards transgender people.

Since then, she has experienced criticism from actors who worked on the Harry Potter films, been denounced by Stephen King and had authors abandon the sinking ship that is her literary agency.

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Meanwhile, other actors, including Ralph Fiennes and Eddie Redmayne, have defended Rowling, voicing their shock towards the backlash she has experienced for her transphobic comments.

Fiennes stated: “I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.

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Rowling attempted to defend her comments, stating her support for the transgender community, whilst simultaneously mentioning the need for conventional gender labels to talk about real “lived” experiences – an incredible insult to the transgender community whose lives are restricted by these very labels.

Rowling has recently gone on to claim that 90 per cent of the letters she receives are in support of her views on transgender people, and that the people who send them are afraid of “vicious, pro-equality advocates.

“Some of the most heartbreaking letters I’ve received have been from young women, who regret the irreversible surgeries they’ve undertaken. These stories need to be told.”

A 2015 study, the most recent on transgender people who regret having surgery, found that 11 per cent of females and 4 per cent of males reverted back to their original sex.

Only 5 per cent detransitioned after realising it was not what they wanted, while others mentioned: “family pressures and difficulty getting a job” as reasons behind their detransition.

What is damaging about Rowling’s comments is that she is using her celebrity platform to amplify a minority of negative experiences within a community of people, who already receive incredible questioning and criticism.

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The violence against transgender people is a prevalent issue today, and Rowling, through her comments, is facilitating a space where levels of transgender hate are excused. No matter how subtle, this hate is still incredibly damaging.

In 2020, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported a total of 44 violent fatalities against the transgender and gender non-conforming community, the highest since 2013.

However, Rowling did not attempt to shine a light on the predominant positive impact that transitioning has on the lives of those who have undergone surgery, including reduced “anxiety, depression, suicidality and substance use“.

Gender transitioning has saved so many lives while instilling a sense of hope regarding acceptance for who they are.

Rowling seriously needs to understand the position of power she is using to voice her damaging opinions, and understand her influence may incite more violence and hatred towards the transgender community.