JK Rowling says her friends 'begged' her not to talk about trans issues: 'I was a heretic'

“Harry Potter” author JK Rowling revealed in a new essay why she decided to speak out for women's rights despite facing pressure to remain silent on the controversial topic of gender identity.

“By the standards of my world, I was a heretic,” Rowling said of the moment she began believing the transgender movement was “dangerous” and “deeply misogynistic.” “However, I kept my thoughts to myself in public, because people around me, including some I love, begged me not to speak.”

“So I watched from the sidelines as women with everything to lose came together, in Scotland and across the United Kingdom, to defend their rights. My guilt for not being with them accompanied me daily, like a chronic pain,” she confessed. . in a new excerpt from a book published by British newspaper The Times on Wednesday.

Rowling said she was moved to stand up after witnessing how freedom of speech was attacked over the issue in the UK.


“Harry Potter” author JK Rowling revealed in a new essay what events led her to speak out in favor of women's rights. (Dipasupil Day/Getty Images)

Her outspokenness in defending women, who were being punished for their opinions, baffled some of her professional colleagues, Rowling said.

“People who had worked with me were quick to distance themselves from me or add their public condemnation to my blasphemous opinions,” he said. Her critical colleagues couldn't understand why she voluntarily spoke out against the “safe and generally approved position” on gender identity.

“The thing is, those who are appalled by my position often don't understand how truly despicable I find theirs. I've seen 'don't debate' become the slogan of those who once posed as defenders of free speech.” “Rowling wrote of her critics. “I have witnessed supposedly progressive men arguing that women do not exist as an observable biological class and do not deserve rights based on biology. I have heard certain female celebrities insist that there is not the slightest risk to women and” “Girls by allowing any man who identifies as a woman to enter spaces reserved for women, including locker rooms, bathrooms, or rape shelters.”

Since speaking out in December 2019, the famous author has faced intense backlash.

Rowling said she has faced death and rape threats. The stars of the “Harry Potter” film series have publicly criticized her and a transgender broadcaster recently reported her for a hate crime.

JK Rowling at a Six Nations match

JK Rowling said she has faced death and rape threats for her opposition to transgender ideology. (Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)

Rowling said these attacks have been “terrifying” at times, but were worth it, because she considers the gender issue “the biggest assault” on women's rights of her life.

“No one who's been through an online monstrosity or a tsunami of death and rape threats will claim it's funny, and I'm not going to pretend it's anything other than disturbing and terrifying, but I had a good idea what was coming because there was seen the same thing happen to other women, many of whom were risking their careers and, sometimes, their physical safety,” she wrote. “Very few high-profile women, with honorable exceptions, especially in sport, Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies chief among them, seemed willing to stand up and provide cover and support for these women. I felt it was about time I too gave a step forward.”

“In the end I spoke because I would have felt ashamed for the rest of my days if I hadn't. If I regret anything, it is for not having spoken much sooner,” she concluded.


Last October, Rowling confessed she felt so strongly about gender that she would “happily” spend time in jail if her government made it a crime to “misgender” a transgender person.

“I will gladly serve two years if the alternative is to speak out and deny the reality and importance of sex.” Rowling published in X after a user told him that under the Labor Party, that could mean two years in jail. “Let the court case begin, I say. It'll be more fun than ever on a red carpet.”

Fox News' Kendall Tietz contributed to this report.

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