JK Rowling claims society is on brink of ‘medical scandal’ over transgender issues

Author’s latest comments come shortly after she was condemned for calling transgender hormone replacement a ‘new kind of conversion therapy’ for young people

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 25 July 2020 15:29 BST
The 'Harry Potter' author has come under fire from a number of trans activists and allies for her previous comments
The 'Harry Potter' author has come under fire from a number of trans activists and allies for her previous comments (AP)

JK Rowling has said she believes there will be a “medical scandal” over NHS identity clinics, in her latest post about transgender issues.

The Harry Potter author has caused controversy over her stance on trans rights during several high-profile Twitter rows. She has strongly denied allegations of transphobia.

“Since speaking up about gender identity theory, I’ve received thousands of emails – more than I’ve ever had on a single subject,” she tweeted on Saturday.

“Many have come from professionals working in medicine, education and social work. All are concerned about the effects on vulnerable young people.

“The writers of this letter are just two of a growing number of whistleblowers,” she wrote, referring to a post on the website Transgender Trend.

She added: “The bleak truth is that if and when the scandal does erupt, nobody currently cheering this movement on will be able to credibly claim ‘we couldn’t have known’.”

Many of the actors who starred in the film adaptations of Harry Potter have spoken out to state their support for the trans community, following Ms Rowling’s previous comments.

Among them are Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who played the lead characters, as well as Bonnie Wright, Eddie Redmayne, Katie Leung and Miriam Margolyes.

Earlier this month, Ms Rowling was condemned for claiming that transgender hormone therapy was “a new kind of conversion therapy” for young gay people.

On Sunday 5 July, she tweeted: “Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”

She continued: “As I’ve said many times, transition may be the answer for some. For others, it won’t – witness the accounts of detransitioners.” Rowling then posted a link to an account of a woman who had “detransitioned” after briefly living as a trans man.

According to Stonewall, detransitioning is very rare. A 2019 research study showing that of the 3,398 trans patients who spoke to the NHS Gender Identity Service between 2016 and 2017, less than 1 per cent had expressed regrets about transition, or had detransitioned.

Ms Rowling came under fire from a number of trans activists and allies, including model Munroe Bergdorf, for her earlier comments.

“JK Rowling is not a scientist. She is not a doctor. She is not an expert on gender. She is not a supporter of our community. She is a billionaire, cisgender, heterosexual, white woman who has decided that she knows what is best for us and our bodies. This is not her fight,” Ms Bergdorf tweeted.

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