Writers defend transgender, non-binary communities
A group of more than 1,500 US and Canadian writers that includes Margaret Atwood, Roxane Gay, and Stephen King have signed an open letter supporting the transgender and non-binary communities.
The group’s open letter is similar to the one signed by more than 200 authors in the UK and Ireland– which includes Jeanette Winterson and Malorie Blackman– declaring their own support for the said communities.
Writers speak up for transgender rights
The two groups of writers had signed the open letters in response to Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s comments against the transgender community and transgender rights.
The letter signed by the British and Irish writers was “a message of love and solidarity for the trans and non-binary community.”
Meanwhile, the US writers said that, “non-binary lives are valid, trans women are women, trans men are men, trans rights are human rights.”
The letter was initiated by author Maureen Johnson, who said that while “letters do not fix things,” they “show support and bring awareness to an issue.”
“In this case, the issue is transphobia in the publishing discourse and community,” Johnson said.
Writers don’t agree with JK Rowling’s stance
In the letter by US group, they said, “We are writers, editors, journalists, agents, and professionals in multiple forms of publishing.”
“We believe in the power of words. We want to do our part to help shape the curve of history toward justice and fairness,” they said.
Meanwhile, Johnson told Publishers Weekly that Rowling’s involvement in the debate over transgender rights in the UK “gave a lot of legitimacy to something that before seemed fringey.”
“It became more accepted, because people know JK from Harry Potter,” she said, adding that “Sometimes you need to put your name on the line and say, ‘I don’t agree with what’s going on’.”
Other writers declare support for JK Rowling
Rowling had recently said, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.”
The British author also supported Maya Forstater, a British researcher who lost her job after saying people cannot change their biological sex.
Rowling’s latest book, Troubled Blood, under the pseudonym Robert Galbriath was recently criticized for having a serial killer that occasionally wear’s women’s clothing to lure victims.
Because of this, 58 personalities like Susan Hill, Lionel Shriver, John Cleese, Aminatta Forna, Tony Robinson, and Ian McEwan signed a letter in the Times in her support.
The said letter described “an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.”