After More Rowling Transphobia, Internet Remembers Anne Rice Supporting Trans Fans
J.K. Rowling’s determination to constantly choose violence against the trans community was continued over the weekend, when she posted more anti-trans propaganda while referencing George Orwell’s 1984.
JK Rowling and anti-trans rhetoric have caused ‘significant damage’ to the UK, international LGBT+ report warns https://t.co/3tNvM4sgHB
— PinkNews (@PinkNews) December 13, 2021
The author wrote, “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman” and linked to an article from the Times that said, “Police Scotland said that they would log rapes as being carried out by a woman if the accused person insists, even if they have not legally changed gender.”
Of course, people noted that Rowling’s (and the article’s) reaction to this seems to imply that only men commit rape and that penetration with a penis is the only kind of sexual assault that counts, which also erases people who have been assaulted by cis women.
In response, people remembered the late Anne Rice, and a story was shared online of her supporting Phaylen Fairchild an actor, filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist. Fairchild originally posted on Medium about her relationship with Rice titled: “My Friend, My First LGBTQ Ally, Anne Rice, Has Die”
People try to say these things have no real-world consequences, but on the ILGA-Europe’s equality index, which logs European countries on the human rights situation on the continent, the U.K. has dropped.
The reasoning for that drop was that “Anti-trans rhetoric continued to cause serious damage in the UK again this year. A prime example is repeated transphobic attacks by author J.K. Rowling, on Twitter and in her writing. Her statements have been harshly criticised by trans people, activists and writers. A growing number of celebrities, including from ‘Harry Potter’ films, have spoken out in support of trans communities.”
Others have noted that this comes right before the latest trailer from one of the mediocre Fantastic Beasts films drops—which further creates a schism between Rowling and the franchise, at least socially.
As I live in the city, there have been times where I’ve passed the Harry Potter store and have been tempted to go in. Harry Potter was a huge part of my life, and my less online friends who still love the books get to have a delightful separation between the series and Rowling herself. Twelve-year-old me wants a butterbeer.
Tweets like this remind me of why I don’t go in. While I do not judge fans who speak out against Rowling but still have Harry Potter in their lives, I have chosen not to because, for me, the two are forever linked. As someone who has always been critical of the series on representation issues, while I don’t believe in trying to clock all the past evidence that may have indicated we could expect Rowling’s current bad behavior, there were things that were allowed to slide because of her, on their face, “liberal” and “anti-racist” ideas, even though they were as thin as Ron’s self-esteem.
Rowling is a lost cause, and many people have pointed out why, but we also have plenty of authors who have grown. Rice was not a perfect woman, but she allowed herself to grow. Her very flawed opinions on fanfiction changed. She was religious later in life but always spoke out against the church’s treatment of the LGBT community. Also, she didn’t queerbait people for ages and then pretend to touch hands with throwing a brick at Stonewall.
She was willing to be wrong.
Rowling is determined to ride this train even if it causes her country’s trans community to suffer. That sours the taste of any butterbeer for me.
[Updated to give proper credit to Phaylen Fairchild]
(image: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]