JK Rowling Returns Human Rights Award To Group That Condemned Her For Her “Anti-Trans” Comments

JK Rowling Returns Human Rights Award To Group That Condemned Her For Her “Anti-Trans” Comments

JK Rowling has made the decision to return an award issued to her by a Kennedy family human rights foundation, after its president, Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter, took umbrage with the writer’s supposed anti-trans comments.

Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert Kennedy Human Rights organization, issued a statement earlier this month concerning Rowling’s comments about transgender issues.

“Over the course of June 2020—LGBTQ Pride Month—and much to my dismay, J.K. Rowling posted deeply troubling transphobic tweets and statements,” Kennedy wrote on August 3, before detailing instances in which the British author “wrote glibly and dismissively about transgender identity.”

Kennedy also cites the 3,700 word essay that appeared on Rowling’s blog in which she further dug in her heels. (It was at that time that Potter alum Emma Watson and Rupert Grint joined Daniel Radcliffe in stating their support of trans rights.)

Rowling and Kennedy spoke prior to the publication of Kennedy’s published statement, during which time they seemed to have had a fundamental disagreement about sex and its determination of gender fluidity. The conversation ended with Kennedy disappointed that Rowling “has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community—one that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm.”

“Black trans women and trans youth in particular are targeted,” Kennedy added.

In response to this, Rowling has decided to return the Ripple of Hope award that she was given by the organization last year, taking to her blog to publish a statement. The award is typically given to those who exhibit a “commitment to social change,” and Rowling had previously called it “one of the highest honours I’ve ever been given.”

Rowling’s statement (which can be read in full on her site), stated:

“Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, recently felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views on RFKHR’s website. The statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people.  As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community.

“Like the vast majority of the people who’ve written to me, I feel nothing but sympathy towards those with gender dysphoria, and agree with the clinicians and therapists who’ve got in touch who want to see a proper exploration of the factors that lead to it. They – along with a growing number of other experts and whistleblowers – are critical of the ‘affirmative’ model being widely adopted, and are also concerned about the huge rise in the numbers of girls wanting to transition.

“Because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope award bestowed upon me last year. I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience.”

Rowling’s statement is likely to further inflame tensions surrounding her and her opinions. The Ripple of Hope award has previously gone to celebrities such as Barack Obama, Robert De Niro, and Taylor Swift as well as numerous other political and corporate personalities. It remains to be seen if other organizations which have honored Rowling with awards over the years will follow the Robert Kennedy Human Rights organization’s example.

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4 Comments

  1. Mitch
    August 31, 12:21 Reply

    A Queen I stan!!!!
    I’m just so immensely proud of J. K. for not bowing to this nonsense pressure to shut up.

    • Adeola
      August 31, 12:27 Reply

      What’s there to Stan? A Transphobic Queen? Please let’s be guided

      • Leeman
        September 02, 08:38 Reply

        How’s standing up for the erasure of women transphobic.
        Let’s be guided truly

  2. Mandy
    September 08, 06:18 Reply

    I love that this woman keeps being unapologetic and refuses to be bullied into silence over her advocacy for women, a struggle that seems to have been forgotten and trampled in the haste to get right with trans issues. For some reason, the minority advancement has decided that women’s rights and trans rights are mutually exclusive, instead of existing rightfully in spite of one another. I’m glad JK Rowling has the power and fortitude to remind everyone of this. Ride on, ma’am.

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