Once again, JK Rowling, who has a history of publishing statements of the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) nature, is trending due to backlash for her transphobia. At this point, we don’t have to sugarcoat the fact that the author has been and continues to spread ideas that endanger the trans community. Her new book titled “Troubled Blood” is centered on the transphobic trope of the “unstable and violent trans woman” and we need to retire this media misrepresentation.
The novel is the fifth installment of Rowling’s “Cormoran Strike” series written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Telegraph describes its narrative as “an investigation into a cold case: the disappearance of a woman in 1974, believed to be a victim of a cis male serial killer whose modus operandi is dressing as a woman.” The second book in the series, “The Silkworm,” was also criticized for a similar depiction of a trans character. Trans journalist Katelyn Burns wrote in her 2018 review, “It’s an entirely common though insulting trope about trans women—that they are aggressive and unable to overcome their masculine nature, not to mention villainous—that has become all too common from cisgender authors with only a passing knowledge of trans people.”
British Vogue trans columnist Paris Lees stated in a series of tweets that some countries such as Brazil have reported a rise in the cases of murder and suicide of trans individuals and that anti-trans narratives must be questioned. “It’s beyond depressing to live day in day out under the threat and memory of violence towards you while simultaneously being told that you are in fact the threat,” she wrote in a tweet.
I don't expect people who aren't trans to every truly understand, but all I can tell you is that it's beyond depressing to live day in day out under the threat and memory of violence towards you while simultaneously being told that you are in fact the threat. It's completely sick
— Paris Lees (@parislees) September 14, 2020
Jenni Holtz of 14 East wrote on the motivations behind the trope, “For most genres, gender-bending characters are smaller characters who crossdress and don’t necessarily identify as trans. In horror, though, trans characters like Buffalo Bill are essential to the main plot. They are nearly always a serial killer or monster and although their actual identity isn’t always addressed, their presentation is modeled after trans women. Their trans identity is meant to incite fear in viewers.” It dehumanizes trans women and, in doing so, can lead to anti-trans violence in the real world.
According to the Human Rights Foundation, at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people in multiple countries have been killed in 2020 alone. These are the real numbers, JK Rowling. Spare us your transphobic myths.
Photo screengrabbed from the “Pottermore” trailer
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