Eddie Izzard defends JK Rowling’s stance on trans issues: ‘I hate the idea we are fighting between ourselves’

Comedian also said she doesn’t mind whether she is referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 03 January 2021 11:12
JK Rowling in lengthy explanation over transgender comments

Eddie Izzard has said she does not believe JK Rowling is transphobic, following a backlash against the author’s comments on trans issues.  

Rowling has been embroiled in a trans row since last June, when she mocked a headline that included the inclusive phrasing “people who menstruate”.

She has since spoken out on the topic of transgender rights several times, and wrote an essay on the issue that was countered by Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe.

Izzard, who is gender fluid, told The Telegraph in a new interview: “I don't think JK Rowling is transphobic. I think we need to look at the things she has written about in her blog. Women have been through such hell over history. Trans people have been invisible, too.”

She added: “I hate the idea we are fighting between ourselves, but it's not going to be sorted with the wave of a wand. I don't have all the answers. If people disagree with me, fine – but why are we going through hell on this?”

On being referred to as "she/her" on Sky Arts series Portrait Artist of the Year last month, a move that made headlines, Izzard said: “I didn't push for it. This isn't the big thing. I've been out for 35 years. When I was called 'she' on getting my honorary degree at Swansea (in 2019), no-one gave a monkey's... If they call me 'she' and 'her’, that's great – or 'he' and 'him’, I don't mind. I prefer to be called Eddie, that covers everything. I'm gender fluid."

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