J.K. Rowling’s Support of Researcher Fired for Being Anti-Trans Sparks Backlash

J.K. Rowling has sparked backlash after offering support to Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job after tweeting that a person cannot change their biological sex.

Rowling took to social media herself Thursday morning, writing, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill”

Rowling’s comments in support of Forstater, who was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development, came after the researcher lost a court challenge against her termination at the CGD. According to the Guardian, Judge James Tayler ruled that Forstater’s termination was valid since her “absolutist” beliefs regarding biological sex includes referring to a person “by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

Forstater’s initial tweet read, “What I am so surprised at is that smart people who I admire, who are absolutely pro-science in other areas, and champion human rights & womens rights are tying themselves in knots to avoid saying the truth that men cannot change into women (because that might hurt mens feelings).”

Rowling’s stance quickly received widespread criticism. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, were among the many who were vocal on social media to condemn Rowling’s position on the subject.

“Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. CC: JK Rowling,” the company wrote on Twitter.

Casey McQuiston, author of the queer romance novel “Red, White and Royal Blue,” also offered support on social media to the LGBTQ community.

“Hi. breaking my hiatus real quick just to say: f— what your childhood heroes say. trans people are real. trans people deserve to be protected, recognized, supported, and loved. if that infringes on your idea of feminism, you’re not actually a feminist at all. you’re a bigot.”

Adam B. Vary contributed to this report.

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