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JK Rowling at centre of another trans row

J.K. Rowling. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

J.K. Rowling. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Published May 18, 2022


JK Rowling is at the centre of another trans row after coming to the defence of a schoolgirl who challenged views on biological sexes.

The“‘Harry Potter” writer, 56, backed the girl after she felt forced to leave her school for arguing gender was real during a talk about transphobia.

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Rowling raged on Twitter: “Utterly shameful. Add this to the tottering pile of evidence that people in education and academia who’re supposed to have a duty of care towards the young have succumbed to an outbreak of quasireligious fanaticism.

“The girl’s crime? Saying ‘sex exists’.”

The pupil said she was hounded by schoolmates for challenging the views of a visiting speaker.

A teacher at the school said the girl had been treated like a heretic for questioning a politician's views about sex.

A female member of the House of Lords had visited the private girls’ school to talk about transphobia in parliament.

The girl told The Times newspaper: “The language she was using was implying critical theory took precedence over biological reality in defining women.

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“When I questioned that, she said it wasn’t an issue of semantics. She said trans people don't have basic human rights in this country.”

The girl said the pair parted on friendly terms, but added she was surrounded by up to 60 shouting and screaming girls when she returned to the sixth form.

She also claimed the mob of pupils swore and spat at her.

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The girl later fled and collapsed with breathing problems.

Teachers who were initially supportive are said to have withdrawn their backing after other sixth-formers accused the girl of transphobia.

The teenager returned to school but was told she would have to work in the library if she said anything provocative in lessons.

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She claims she then left the institution in December after she faced bullying and accusations of transphobia.

Rowling has repeatedly come under fire for defending public figures against accusations of transphobia.

At the weekend, she slated balaclava-clad activists involved in a stand-off around the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in St Peter’s Square, Manchester.

She said: “I never expected the right side of history to include so many people in masks intimidating and assaulting women, did you?”

Rowling says she has been driven to speak out on trans issues partly as she is a sexual assault and domestic abuse survivor.

She has said about the gender debate: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”