Condemning J.K. Rowling and Her Transphobic Views

The Transgender Pride flag was designed by Monica Helms, and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 2000. The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes, two light blue, two pink, with a white stripe in the center. Monica describes the meaning of the flag as follows: "The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives".
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons – “The Transgender Pride flag was designed by Monica Helms, and was first shown at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona, USA in 2000. The flag represents the transgender community and consists of five horizontal stripes, two light blue, two pink, with a white stripe in the center. Monica describes the meaning of the flag as follows: ‘The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives’.”
Black Condemn text against white background

I condemn J.K. Rowling and her continuing transphobic views, including her recent social media posts and response to the backlash. I will not share what she has been saying here. You can easily search for and find the details online. Her comments are hateful and appalling and they cause harm to trans* people.

To trans* people and others who need our support right now, I love you, respect you, support you, and celebrate you. I defer to your experiences, follow your lead, and thank you for challenging dangerous simplifications and models that don’t represent the beauty, complexity, and diversity of being.

When it comes to consuming the works and adaptations of works by a problematic person like J.K. Rowling, I think these are personal decisions, so I have no opinion about what others decide to do with their books and movies. I don’t own and haven’t read any of Rowling’s books, so the least and easiest action I can take is to remove her works from my TBR list permanently. I’m aware that the books are problematic for several other reasons. I own all the movie adaptations of her series of books and will likely watch the movies again in the future, but with acute awareness of their problematic source.

To address a few of the usual responses to condemnations like this:

  1. I’m not telling Rowling or anyone reading my condemnation what to do.
  2. I acknowledge and apologize for my own hateful and ignorant views, accept criticism and condemnation, and vow to improve, without expecting forgiveness or praise.
  3. I publicly condemn Rowling and her comments so that I can register my outrage and offer my support to trans* people to counter the negative effects and dangerous consequences of such hateful messages.
  4. Trans* people, particularly Black trans* people and other trans* people of color, suffer exorbitantly from such hateful messages and attacks, at the moment of the messaging and after as that hatred is further normalized.
  5. Even while we hold nondiscriminatory views toward certain communities, we might still be discriminatory and dangerous to other communities; the rise of hatred aimed at trans* people within feminist and lesbian and gay communities has been and continues to be dangerous and frightening and I must point it out and condemned it.
  6. Rowling is touting hateful and pseudoscientific views about gender.
  7. Science has confirmed the complexity of gender and the inadequacy of the gender binary model, but…
  8. …treating people with kindness and without hate doesn’t require science.