JK Rowling’s New Book Sparks Controversy in the LGBTQ+ Community

By: GIANNA LUGLIANI

Bestselling author JK Rowling has come out with another novel after her five-year break since she released the last book in the Harry Potter series. This new book, Troubled Blood, has been a topic of controversy and has caused a great amount of backlash against Rowling. Her Twitter account has had a history of anti-LGBTQ+ tweets and likes in the past, causing many of her formerly devoted fans to turn against her.

 Ranging in levels of discreteness, these homophobic tweets include Rowling defending Maya Forstater, “a tax specialist who had lost her job for what were deemed “transphobic tweets.” She later defended her position on this and stood by what she said even after receiving a copious amount of hate for it, including backlash from Harry Potter movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. Another majorly disagreeable tweet from her recently was in response to an article on how to create a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate. Rowling tried to make a joke about this in her tweet that said “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” This clearly expresses her beliefs of parts of the transgender community being invalid in their gender. By suggesting that only women are able to menstruate, she disregards all those who identify as men that still menstruate. Along with these and many other past tweets regarding LGBTQ+ topics, her new book has only created more reason to confirm her transphobia. 

In her newly released book, Troubled Blood, the plot is centered around a man who cross-dresses as a woman in order to prey upon and kill other women. While this already appears to be an unsettling plot point from that description, she also wrote the book under the male pseudonym “Robert Galbraith.” Trans-bi activist Julia Serano criticized the whole situation, tweeting, “I have to say, the irony here is rich: Basically JK Rowling is posing as a man (Robert Galbraith) to write a novel about a man who poses as a woman to kill people.” Others have expressed their anger about this book by detailing how it makes trans people seem like the aggressors when usually in reality it is the other way around. It also promotes the notion that “fears of a bad man in a dress are one of the main justifications for anti-trans legislation across the globe.” Troubled Blood continually reflects Rowling’s personal opinions against many of modern feminism’s ideals throughout the grim murder mystery, making it a hard read for her usual audience.

Despite all the backlash and public disapproval of this novel, it somehow “has gone straight to the UK Official Top 50 number one spot, selling 64,633 copies in its first week on sale.” JK Rowling has overall lost an abundance of respect for publishing this book, and has only further dug herself into the hole of her transphobia that readers will not be quick to forgive her for at any point.

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