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JK Rowling sparks controversy for tweet on gender: ‘Sex is real’

J.K. Rowling sparked controversy on Thursday morning over a Twitter post defending a researcher who was fired for “stating that sex is real.”

The Harry Potter author was tweeting in support of Maya Forstater, a researcher who was fired after posting that a person cannot change their biological sex. 

“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? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill,” she posted.


Forstater, a former visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development, was fired over a Twitter thread from September 2018 that started by saying, “What I am so surprised at is that smart people who I admire, who are absolutely pro-science in other areas, and champion human rights & womens rights are tying themselves in knots to avoid saying the truth that men cannot change into women (because that might hurt mens feelings).”

Forstater challenged her termination in court and lost. The judge called her views “absolutist” when referring to someone “by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment,” The Guardian reported

Several LGBTQ groups attacked Rowling for backing Forstater, including the Human Rights Campaign, which tweeted, “Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. CC: JK Rowling.”

Lambda Legal, a legal organization that defends LBBTQ community members, tweeted at Rowling saying, “The enormous universe of #LGBTQ young people & adults who have been inspired by JK Rowling’s work deserve better.”

Anthony Ramos, the head of talent at the LGBTQ organization GLAAD, said in a statement obtained by The Hill that Rowling’s support of Forstater “puts trans people at risk.” 

“J.K. Rowling, whose books gave kids hope that they could work together to create a better world, has now aligned herself with an anti-science ideology that denies the basic humanity of people who are transgender,” Ramos said.

Tags LGBTQ Sex trans rights Transgender

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