British author J.K. Rowling has called for an end to the “climate of fear” regarding the debate about transgender individuals in a new interview that is certain to spur an uproar.
“Many are afraid to speak up because they fear for their jobs and even for their personal safety,” Rowling said in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine. “This climate of fear serves nobody well, least of all trans people.”
Since Rowling has been speaking her mind on the trans debate, she has received harsh condemnation as well as death and rape threats. But the 55-year-old writer alleges that “more than 90 percent of the letters and emails have been supportive.”
“My correspondence have included medical staff, social workers, prison workers, workers in women’s refuges, and members of the LGBT community, including trans people,” Rowling claimed.
“I believe everybody should be free to live a life that is authentic to them, and that they should be safe to do so,” the “Harry Potter” author said. “I also believe that we need a more nuanced conversation around women’s rights and around the huge increase in numbers of girls and young women who are seeking to transition.”
Rowling claimed to have received “heartbreaking letters” from young women, who “regret the irreversible surgeries they’ve undertaken.” She said these stories from women regretting their irreversible gender reassignment surgery “need to be told.”
This follows the Keira Bell case in Britain, where the 23-year-old sued the British National Health Service’s gender-identity youth clinic for prescribing her puberty blockers at the age of 16. Bell blamed the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the U.K’.s only gender identity development service for children, for not doing enough to “challenge” her decision to transition to a male.
Earlier this month, the judges’ ruling stated, “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers.”
“It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges said.
“In respect of young persons aged 16 and over, the legal position is that there is a presumption that they have the ability to consent to medical treatment,” the ruling read.
Bell had a double mastectomy at age 20 with hopes to “achieve happiness.” When the surgery didn’t bring joy, Bell began to de-transition last year, describing the situation by saying, “It was heartbreaking to realize I’d gone down the wrong path.”
Rowling has had a history of weighing in on trans issues. In September, transgender activists called Rowling a “transphobe” for writing about a character in one of her books that was a cross-dressing serial killer.
Over the summer, Rowling was heavily criticized for saying that hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgeries are too often over-prescribed.
The author penned a lengthy essay detailing how she was allegedly targeted by the transgender lobby.