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JK Rowling ‘receives 3,000 supportive emails’ after trans rights row

The author has been at the centre of controversy over her comments on trans rights.

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JK Rowling has defended her position on trans rights (Yui Mok/PA)

JK Rowling has defended her position on trans rights (Yui Mok/PA)

JK Rowling has defended her position on trans rights (Yui Mok/PA)

JK Rowling said she has received more than 3,000 emails thanking her for voicing her concerns about transgender issues after detailing her experience with domestic abuse.

The Harry Potter author has been at the centre of a row about trans rights and has been accused of being transphobic, an allegation Rowling strongly denies.

She has previously said in an essay that she was partly motivated to speak out about the issue because of her experience of abuse and sexual assault.

She wrote on Twitter: “I’ve received over 3,000 emails thanking me for speaking up. I’ve been brought to tears many times while reading, sometimes out of gratitude for their kindness, but also because many women have shared their own experiences of violence & sexual assault.

“Some emails came from professionals working in women’s refuges, the prison service, the social work system, the criminal justice system and the police. All expressed concerns about the aims and methods of current trans activism.

“As I stated in my essay, my primary worry is the risks to vulnerable women. As everyone knows, I’m no longer reliant on communal facilities, nor am I likely to be imprisoned or need a women’s refuge any time soon. I’m not arguing for the privileged, but the powerless.”

Responding to criticism from shadow environment minister Lloyd Russell-Moyle, for which he has now apologised, she said: “When so-called leftists like @lloyd_rm demand that we give up our hard won sex-based rights, they align themselves squarely with men’s rights activists.

“To both groups, female trauma is white noise, an irrelevance, or else exaggerated or invented.”

Rowling cited paragraphs from her lengthy blog post on the subject in which she wrote: “I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection.

“Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.

“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

She added: “I accept @lloyd_rm ‘s apology in the hope that he’ll dig a little deeper than hashtags and slogans. He might then understand why increasing numbers of people are deeply concerned about @UKLabour’s position on women’s rights.”

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter film series, and Eddie Redmayne, who leads the cast of Fantastic Beasts, have both criticised Rowling for her comments about transgender issues.

Four authors resigned from Rowling’s literary agency after claiming the company refused to publish a statement in support of transgender rights while a charity which supports transgender children has urged Rowling to meet some of the young people it works with.

PA