Last weekend, or approximately 27 years ago, J.K. Rowling decided that this moment—a pandemic, global protests against systemic racism and police violence, the batshit crazy stuff coming out of the White House, the list goes on—was the right moment in which to tweet out her terrible opinions about trans people. Not content to deal with the blowback from that particular revelation of her shittiness—including a thoughtful, compassionate rebuttal from Daniel Radcliffe via The Trevor Project—Rowling doubled-down, using those world-building skills to craft another narrative that’s largely fictional in an essay titled “Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.” She really should have considered writing “Reasons For Keeping Your Mouth Shut,” but alas.
That treatise has gotten the thorough dunking it deserves from four reputable sources, thoughtfully compiled in this lengthy and equally thoughtful piece from Forbes. Contributor Dawn Ennis, who’s also the managing editor of Outsports.com and the co-host of the podcast The Trans Sporter Room, brought together the work done by “author and advocate Brynn Tannehill, researcher and scholar Dr. Bethany Grace Howe, Author Tony Ferraiolo, who is also a certified life coach and transgender youth advocate, plus the trans ally who launched a veritable tweet hurricane: Andrew James Carter, the C.E.O. and co-founder of a U.K.-based microblogging social network start-up called Podium.”
The entire piece is worth reading in full, but we want to highlight this segment, which includes quotes from an interview between Ennis and Carter:
“When I saw the litany of falsehoods — the same hateful arguments I’d seen transphobes regurgitate over-and-over for years; when I saw them dressed up in polite language, posing as reasonable arguments instead of the ignorant prejudice they were; when I thought about other cis people reading them and mistaking them for reasoned truth,” Carter said, “my instinct was to find and share a thread from a trans person refuting it all.
“Except no trans person should ever have to take the time — or expose themselves to that abuse — simply to justify their existence and refute lies about their experiences and identities,” a weary Carter told me in an online conversation that followed a very long day and an all-nighter of tweets. “Transphobia is a cis problem that impacts trans people, so I decided I had to write the thread myself....
“Racism isn’t a Black people problem,” he said, “It’s a White people problem that impacts Black people. And the same is true of transphobia. It’s a cis people problem. Trans people shouldn’t be expected to solve it. That’s on us.”
We highly suggest clicking through to read Ennis’s complete piece (and not bothering with Rowling’s essay in the first place.)
If you want to support LGBTQ youth, consider donating to GLSEN, which promotes anti-bullying initiatives and gay-straight alliances in schools nationwide, and The Trevor Project, which operates a confidential hotline staffed by trained counselors who provide crisis-intervention and suicide-prevention services.