Author JK Rowling has called for an end to the “climate of fear” around discussing transgender issues, which she says prevents people from speaking out and is silencing those who regret their transitions.
Rowling has been under fire from trans activists in recent months for her opposition to radical gender ideology, in particular for stating that only women can have periods.
However, she told Good Housekeeping magazine that she has received overwhelming support from others, including some transgender people, who agree with the need to be able to debate difficult issues without fear of reprisal.
‘Climate of fear’
The Harry Potter author said: “Many women are concerned about the challenges to their fundamental rights posed by certain aspects of gender identity ideology. I’ve had a huge postbag since speaking up on this issue and more than 90 per cent of the letters and emails have been supportive”.
She added: “My correspondents have included medical staff, social workers, prison workers, workers in women’s refuges and members of the LGBT community, including trans people.
“Many are afraid to speak up because they fear for their jobs and even for their personal safety. This climate of fear serves nobody well, least of all trans people.”
Emphasising her pro-LGBT credentials Rowling continued: “I believe everybody should be free to live a life that is authentic to them, and that they should be safe to do so. 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.
This climate of fear serves nobody well, least of all trans people
“Some of the most heartbreaking letters I’ve received have been from young women who regret the irreversible surgeries they’ve undertaken. These stories need to be told.”
Her comments come following a High Court ruling in which judges said it was “highly unlikely” children 13 and under could ever genuinely consent to hormone blockers, and “very doubtful” 14 and 15 year olds could do so.
The case against the NHS’s Gender Identity Development Service had been brought by former patient Keira Bell, who regretted her transition after she was given hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones as a teenager, and has now returned to living as a woman.