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Rowling Gets an Earful After Trans Tweet

GLAAD says author has endorsed distortion of facts about gender identity
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2020 11:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – A headline that referred to "people who menstruate" didn't go over well with JK Rowling. But then, her response to it didn't go over well with many people, Variety reports. "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," Rowling tweeted Saturday. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" Transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people who were born female but don't identify as women can menstruate, and the online backlash included accusations that the tweet was "transphobic." An advocacy group was critical. The Harry Potter author has "aligned herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans," GLAAD tweeted. "In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people."

Celebrities joined the outcry, per US magazine. "Trans women are women," Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye tweeted. Rowling posted a defense that included: "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." The headline appeared on Devex, a global development site, on an opinion piece about creating a more equitable world after the pandemic. Rowling said she's "spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists" and said she feels a "kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women—ie, to male violence." (Read more JK Rowling stories.)

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