Harry Potter author JK Rowling defends transgender tweet

Rowling reveals she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault in new blog post.

JK Rowling has faced fierce criticism over her tweet last weekend.
JK Rowling has faced fierce criticism over her tweet last weekend.

JK Rowling has responded to criticism surrounding her comments about transgender people in a lengthy blog post on her website.

Last weekend, the Harry Potter author took issue with a headline on an online article discussing “people who menstruate”, and tweeted: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

And in December last year she voiced her support for a researcher who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.

Critics accused her of being transphobic, an allegation Rowling strongly denies.

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The author, who lives in Edinburgh, said one of the reasons which motivated her to speak about the issue was her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

She wrote: “I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor. This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember

“I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too.

“However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life and she encouraged me to go ahead.

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“I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces.”


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