Stephen King Shuts Down J.K. Rolling Over Trans Rights

Stephen King Shuts Down J.K. Rolling Over Trans RightsPA Images

Stephen King has unwittingly found himself at the centre of the J. K. Rowling transphobia row, which has been bubbling away on Twitter over the last few weeks.

King was accused of being a TERF – a trans-exclusionary radical feminist – after he retweeted post made by Rowling.

On Sunday, June 28, 54-year-old Rowling responded to an apology from Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who had accused her of ‘using’ her domestic violence experience as ‘justification for discriminating against’ the trans community.

JK RowlingPA Images

The comments came after she published an open letter detailing the abuse she suffered at the hands of an ex-partner, while justifying comments she had made when raising concerns about proposed changes to Scottish gender laws.

Responding to the apology, Rowling wrote a series of tweets about violence against women, with one reading:

Andrea Dworkin wrote: ‘Men often react to women’s words—speaking and writing—as if they were acts of violence; sometimes men react to women’s words with violence.’ It isn’t hateful for women speak about their own experiences, nor do they deserve shaming for doing so.

This one tweet was retweeted by fellow author Stephen King.

And it seems Rowling was over the moon to earn support from the 72-year-old, later tweeting that she had ‘always revered’ the author but ‘today [her] love reached – maybe not Annie Wilkes levels – but new heights’.

Stephen KingPA Images

She added:

It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.

Unsurprisingly, King quickly found himself under attack from social media users who accused him of being a TERF for siding with Rowling.

However, as tensions continued to rise, one Twitter user told The Shining author he ought to address the scandal ‘by telling us constant readers if you believe trans women are women.’

To clear up any doubt, King replied: ‘Yes. Trans women are women.’

Rowling then deleted her tweets thanking the author for seemingly defending her.

Since the fallout began at the beginning of the month, when Rowling suggested that gender identity invalidates biological sex. A number of Harry Potter stars have since spoken out against the author’s anti-trans comments.

In a lengthy statement, Daniel Radcliffe said that while Rowling ‘is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honoured to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment’.

‘Transgender women are women,’ Radcliffe continued. ‘Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.’

Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and Rupert Grint have also spoken out against Rowling, in support of the trans community.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.