J K Rowling is back to spreading harmful transphobic rhetoric and the LGBTQI community has responded saying she does not speak for them. The hashtag JKRowlingDoesntSpeakForMe was trending on social media following the author’s claim that “lesbians are under attack”.

Trigger Warning: This story has details of homophobic and transphobic language, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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In her latest tirade, the Harry Potter author attacked the UK Labour Party saying it could “no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights”. Rowling accused Labour leader Keir Starmer of misrepresenting the law. Starmer had in an interview to The Times said that under the UK laws “trans woman are women”. 

Lesbians Under Attack?

Strarmer’s comment was seized upon by Rowling to post transphobic rhetoric. “I don’t think our politicians have the slightest idea how much anger is building among women from all walks of life at the attempts to threaten and intimidate them out of speaking publicly about their own rights, their own bodies, and their own lives,” The March 12 tweet garnered over 23k likes and over 5000 shares.

“Among the thousands of letters and emails I’ve received are disillusioned members of Labour, the Greens, the Lib Dems and the SNP. Women are scared, outraged and angry at the deaf ear turned to their well-founded concerns. But women are organising,” she wrote .

“Now Starmer publicly misrepresents equalities law, in yet another indication that the Labour Party can no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights. But I repeat: women are organising across party lines, and their resolve and their anger are growing.”

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JK Rowling then posted: “Innumerable gay people have been in touch with me to say exactly this. Like women, they- especially lesbians- are under attack for not wishing to be redefined and for refusing to use ideological language they find offensive.”

J K Rowling Doesn’t Speak For Me

Rowling’s claim to speak for gay men and lesbian women was contested by the LGBTQI community. 

“You are empowering far right forces that endanger all women and queer people with misleading and hateful rhetoric. It’s not too late for you to walk back from the dark path you’ve found yourself on. Please listen to the people who are asking you to lead with love,” wrote Justice League writer Andrew Wheeler.

“The vast majority of both gay people and women are pro trans rights. It’s mainly straight cis men who agree with you that trans people’s rights are bad and they shouldn’t be allowed to describe reality,” said a user.

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“I’m a cis lesbian. Nobody’s redefining me, I define myself. I support trans people, I support trans rights, and I’m deeply tired of bigots trying to gatekeep feminism and co-opt and weaponize my womanhood and orientation to demonise and strawman an already marginalised group,” said another user. 

Wheeler’s tweet was quote-tweeted by another user, who posted “OTOH paedophiles, rapists & misogynists are identifying as queer and coming after women who speak up about their rights. And men like this [pointing to Wheeler’s comment] are joining in.” 

Rowling retweeted this post drawing the attention of her 13.9 million users to Wheeler’s comments. Wheeler accused the author of endangering his safety. 

“She’s playing with my personal safety for rhetorical clout. She’s inviting death threats against me because I asked her to lead with love rather than play into the hands of the far right. Ms Rowling, please, look at what comes so easily to you. Look at what you’ve become,” Wheeler posted.

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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