GLAAD Responds to Tweets From J.K. Rowling: "There Is No Excuse for Targeting Trans People"

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J.K. Rowling

In a Twitter thread on Saturday, the 'Harry Potter' author commented on an article that said "people who menstruate" and spoke about the concept of biological sex, prompting a response from the media advocacy organization.

Author J.K. Rowling came under fire on Saturday for a series of tweets that many considered transphobic. As the tweets gained visibility and negative reactions, media advocacy organization GLAAD commented that, in 2020, there is "no excuse" for targeting trans people. 

The thread started when Rowling reposted an opinion article from the website Devex titled, "Creating a more equal post COVID-19 world for people who menstruate." She called out the story for its use of language, writing, "'People who menstruate. I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

This elicited numerous responses from the LGBTQ community, with some begging her to delete her account and others explaining that not just women have the ability to menstruate. "There are trans men and non-binary people who menstruate you absolute wilting head of lettuce," said one user. Multiple users asked Rowling why she'd posted the comment, while one called her a "colossal disappointment."

The author began trending on Twitter as the thread drew more responses, eventually encompassing thousands of tweets from individuals upset by her words.

Rowling continued the thread by speaking about the intricacies of biological sex. "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."

The Harry Potter author also wrote, "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."

To these comments, one Twitter user responded by begging Rowling not to use her platform in this way. "You are actively hurting children who admire you with your words — the very thing that drew them to you."

Rowling went on to note that she respects "every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them." She said, "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."

In response, a Twitter user wrote, "there is sooo much to unpack here. first of all, trans people ARE discriminated against on the basis of being trans, there is no "if," and here you are, not marching with the LGBT community."

GLAAD, which is dedicated to LGBTQ equality, suggested that those who want to direct their "rightful anger over Rowling's latest anti-trans comments" into something positive, support black organizations such as the National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, UK Black Pride, Gendered Intelligence or the Marsha P. Johnson Institute. 

The organization also said, "JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people."

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Rowling's representative for comment.

View some of the tweets below, in addition to GLAAD's response.

Last year, Rowling sparked similar backlash on Twitter when she expressed support for researcher Maya Forstater, who was deemed to have made transphobic comments.

Tweeting support for Forstater, Rowling said at the time, "Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."

This was met with a fiery reaction on Twitter, with many users disagreeing with the author and calling her out for being transphobic.