Harry Potter-writer J.K. Rowling published an anti-trans manifesto on her website a few weeks ago, which attracted a lot of criticism, but unfortunately also some support. We don’t link her manifesto here because we consider any dissemination of it to be very damaging. For those who are not so familiar with the world of Rowling and Harry Potter, it is useful to know that Rowling has a history of queerbaiting. Roelant Frijns urges us not to fall for that.
So, I realise that I’m a bit late to the party with the whole J.K. Rowling controversy, but there’s one aspect of it that I feel has been largely overlooked, that I would like to share my thoughts about. That’s not to say I haven’t seen anybody mention it, but I think it merits a deeper dive.
Obviously, the TERFy bullshit J.K. Rowling has been spouting over the past weeks is literally filled with inaccuracies and frankly ridiculous assumptions. I’ve read and watched a lot of good breakdowns of her tirade, so I won’t bother repeating everything that’s already been said. There is one sentence in particular, which appeared on Rowling’s social media on June 6th, right before she shared her manifesto, that I would like to focus on, and it’s this one:
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction.”
Let’s just ignore for a moment the fact that “sex isn’t real” is a deliberate misrepresentation of what trans activists are actually saying, one that is popular among TERFs because it sounds reasonable to people who haven’t the foggiest what this entire debate is about. Let’s just pretend that “sex isn’t real” wasn’t a strawman, but an actual thing that actual people were actually saying.
In a world where sex isn’t real, all kinds of sex-based attraction wouldn’t exist; there wouldn’t be any same-sex attraction, but there wouldn’t be such a thing as opposite-sex attraction either. And I find it very telling that J.K. Rowling only specifically mentioned that first thing.
In my opinion, my correct opinion might I add, this statement is a very obvious and very deliberate attempt by J.K. Rowling to gaslight cisgender non-heterosexual people into supporting her dangerous anti-trans ideologies.
It’s been clear for years that J.K. Rowling – a heterosexual woman – views herself as a champion of gay and bisexual people all over the globe, because she retconned an obviously-not-gay character as gay that one time even though she refuses to actually depict Dumbledore’s supposed homosexuality in any new works, and because she sometimes disses the Elite Council of Homophobes Worldwide on Twitter. She has a misguided sense of entitlement to our eternal gratitude and it is for that reason no surprise at all that she’s actually delusional enough to think she has the right to manifest herself as a leader for cisgender non-heterosexual people, by telling us how we should and shouldn’t feel about trans rights and trans activism.
This has always been the nature of J.K. Rowling’s attitude towards gay, lesbian and bisexual people; she pretended like Dumbledore was always supposed to be gay because she wanted something from us: money. Now, she acts like she’s bravely standing up for the validity of our romantic and sexual attraction, because she needs us to support her in her fucked up anti-trans crusade.
To this I say: go fuck yourself, J.K. We are not your fucking “battleground demographic.” You may feel like you have earned our seal of approval, but the cold hard truth is that your contributions to the emancipation of sexual minorities have been next to zero, ESPECIALLY compared to what the trans movement has done for us. They started Pride, they stood by our sides during the aids pandemic, they elected us to office and they fought – and still fight – alongside us in our quests to get same-sex couples recognised by law, among many, many other things. You ain’t shit, THEY are the true champions.
The last thing we need is some stuck-up entitled straight woman trying to recruit us, trying to get us to stab our very best allies, our friends from day one, our siblings in the trans community in the back for her own political gain. Fucking stop it. Just, in general, stop trying to score points with us. We do not want you or any of your TERF friends anywhere near us. You’re the fakest ally in the history of activism, you always have been, and most of us know it. Leave. Us. Out. Of. It.
And to all the LGB people who are actually falling for this: know that you are spitting on the legacy of all heroes who brought us to where we are today, by becoming sockpuppets for straight folks’ exclusionist agendas. I hope you’re fucking proud.
I think J.K. Rowling’s statement could almost be seen as a dog whistle. With the intensity of this situation sadly growing stronger and stronger, it’s important for us cis non-heterosexual folks to be able to identify these attempts at dragging us into supporting a false anti-trans narrative, and to remember who our true friends are.
[insert obligatory Harry Potter pun send-off]
(This article first appeared on his Facebook-page.)