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J.K. Rowling reveals loved ones “begged” her to keep anti-trans views private

May 30th, 2024

J.K. Rowling has said that her loved ones had tried to persuade her to keep her views on trans people to herself.

In recent years, the author has caused controversy with her stance on trans rights, having shared numerous statements condemned as transphobic stemming back to 2020.

More recently, she dared police to arrest her as she expressed her opposition to new hate crime legislation that has just come into force in Scotland and earlier this year was reported to the police over accusations of transphobic abuse towards broadcaster India Willoughby. Willoughby later said on X/Twitter that it was recorded as a non-crime hate incident.

Now, Rowling has contributed to an essay collection, The Women Who Wouldn’t Wheesht, and in an extract published in The Times said that “people around me, including some I love, were begging me not to speak.”

“So I watched from the sidelines as women with everything to lose rallied, in Scotland and across the UK, to defend their rights. My guilt that I wasn’t standing with them was with me daily, like a chronic pain.”

JK Rowling. Credit: Stuart C Wilson/Getty

The essay collection’s title refers to a slogan used by so called ‘gender critical’ activists in Scotland and features contributions from women who claim to be on “the frontline of the battle for women’s rights” and are opposed to the Scottish government’s plans for gender identity reform.

Harry Potter stars Daniel RadcliffeEmma Watson and Rupert Grint have all spoken out against her views and defended transgender women and men. A number of actors have also come to Rowling’s defence, including Evanna LynchHelena Bonham Carter and Jim Broadbent.

Earlier this month, Radcliffe told The Atlantic that Rowling’s views “make me really sad”, adding: “Because I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic.”

Rowling previously said that she wouldn’t forgive the Harry Potter stars who have criticised her views. “Celebs who cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights and who used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors can save their apologies for traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single sex spaces,” she wrote on X/Twitter.

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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