The Harry Potter author has been embroiled in controversy in recent months over her claims that allowing individuals to self-identify their gender could pose a potential threat to cisgender women.
Rowling has strongly denied accusations of transphobia. Despite that, two high-profile Harry Potter fansites have distanced themselves from the author as a result of her claims, and film franchise actors including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have come out in support of self-identification.
The Edinburgh poster was designed and paid for by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who tweets under the name “Posie Parker” and has campaigned against the reform of gender recognition laws. Said reform would allow trans individuals to declare their own gender with greater ease.
“I am astounded that they have found a way to take it down,” Keen-Minshull told The Times. “We are in incredibly sinister times when an expression of love and solidarity is perceived to be hateful.”
Keen-Minshull, who paid £1,200 to have the poster displayed, previously paid for a billboard declaring the dictionary definition of “woman”. It was erected in Liverpool during the 2018 Labour Party conference.
In 2018, she was interviewed by police after being accused of committing a hate crime against Susie Green, the CEO of the charity and transgender youth advocacy organisation Mermaids. The case was eventually closed with no further action.
During an appearance on This Morning in 2018, Keen-Minshull said that she did not recognise trans women as women and that trans identity is “an absolute assault on women and womanhood”, adding that she did not believe anyone “can change sex in any meaningful way”.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Network Rail said: “The poster in question is against our code of acceptance for advertising in our stations owing to its political nature. We do not allow advertising that is likely to support or promote one viewpoint over another.”
Earlier this week (25 July), Rowling claimed that society is on the brink of a “medical scandal” over transgender young people, citing emails sent to her from unnamed professionals “working in medicine, education and social work”.