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J.K. Rowling is getting roasted again for a tweet supporting a transphobic researcher

People are upset but not surprised.


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 19, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 8:01 pm CDT

After a lengthy Twitter absence, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling returned today to tweet her support for transphobic researcher Maya Forstater, and affirm her own belief that assigned sex is real and immutable.

“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. She equates gender with assigned sex and reduces trans people’s gender identities to a kind of performance.

Rowling’s tweet was quickly mocked on the platform.

Forstater, whose contract with an international think tank wasn’t renewed after she expressed transphobic sentiments on Twitter, lost her case with the employment tribunal. The judge ruled that her beliefs about gender did “not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief.” This result has spawned several hashtags on Twitter, including  and by people who share her transphobic beliefs and defend her actions. These Twitter users also declare the judge’s ruling a threat to freedom of speech and women’s rights in general.

Several Twitter users claim that Rowling’s tweet misrepresents what the case was about to the point of gaslighting, as it casts Forstater’s case as one of freedom of speech when it was really an attempt to grant transphobia protected status under the law in the same way that religions currently have in the UK.

Rowling has a long history of liking transphobic tweets and then answering evasively when questioned on it, seemingly trying to express support for the TERF movement without losing the support of her fans who oppose them. However, this tweet and its contents are unequivocal in their support of the TERF position, and Rowling won’t be able to back down from it by saying she “had a middle-aged moment” and liked the wrong tweet as she has in the past.

While many are saying that Rowling’s views have been obvious for a long time, others are reeling from this revelation and saying it’s the final nail in the coffin of their fandom.

Meanwhile, other Twitter users are out here reminding disappointed fans that there are other beloved young adult authors who not only haven’t come out with transphobic statements but actually feature LGBTQ+ and other marginalized characters in their work. Suggestions include K.A. Applegate—author of the Animorphs—Rick Riordan, and Tamora Pierce.


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*First Published: Dec 19, 2019, 1:18 pm CST