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J.K. Rowling accused of transphobia after tweeting support for Maya Forstater

on December 19, 2019, 2:24pm

J.K. Rowling has come under heavy backlash after tweeting support for a transphobic researcher named Maya Forstater.

Forstater was fired from her job at the Centre for Global Development after strongly opposing changes to the Gender Recognition Act that would allow for individuals to self-identify themselves. Forestater views gender as strictly binary and expressed that “men cannot change into women.”

In their decision to oust Forstater, the Centre for Global Development condemned her language as “offensive and exclusionary.” Judge James Tayler echoed these sentiments when weighing in on the case, writing that Forstater’s “absolutist beliefs” warranted her termination.

(Read: Why a Harry Potter Non-Fan Found Fantastic Beasts Utterly Fantastic)

“[Forstater] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment,” said Judge Tayler, according to the Guardian.

Rowling disagreed with the ruling and took to social media early Thursday morning to defend Forstater. “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?” Rowling tweeted, including the hashtags #IStandWithMaya and #ThisIsNotaDrill.

Comments from the Harry Potter author immediately drew waves of backlash from fans and LGBTQ+ allies alike, with many accusing her of transphobia.

“I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape,” wrote one disappointed reader. “I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was. This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears… Why. Why?”.