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J.K. Rowling Returns Kennedy Human Rights Award After Being Called "Transphobic"

J.K. Rowling Returns Kennedy Human Rights Award After Being Called "Transphobic"
August 29, 2020 - 01:10 / Sarah Schulz

English writer J.K. Rowling decided to return the Ripple of Hope Award for Human Rights after being called "transphobic" by the president of the organization that presented her with the award in 2019. The author of Harry Potter denied being against the community after her comments but reaffirmed some controversial tweets that earned her criticism from LGBTQ activists.

Apparently not everything is magical in the popular English writer J.K. Rowling's world. In recent days, the author of the Harry Potter saga returned the Ripple of Hope award she received from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization last year after being labeled "transphobic" by Kerry Kennedy, the president of the group that presents the award. In a lengthy statement, Rowling denied the transphobic label; however, she reaffirmed some of her beliefs and comments in an attempt to make the transgender community in the UK invisible.

J.K. Rowling returns award after being called a transphobic

In June of this year, J.K. Rowling caused controversy by posting a series of tweets in response to an article about "people who menstruate." The author tweeted: "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth."

J.K. Rowling at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2016.

Rowling's comments continued throughout the month with a series of tweets that made the existence of the trans community invisible. Users on the social network also pointed out that the writer had liked a comment that opposed the ban on conversion therapies that have put hundreds of young people in the UK in danger.

In a message published earlier this month, Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, called the writer's comments "transphobic" and "deeply troubling."

Kerry Kennedy spoke with the author earlier this month "to express my profound disappointment that she has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community - one that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm. Black trans women and trans youth, in particular, are targeted," according to ET

Kerry Kennedy at the presentation of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights to J.K. Rowling, in 2019.

This, therefore, resulted in asking for the Ripple of Hope Award back since Rowling's values don't align with those of the organization. 

After the publication of Kennedy's message, Rowling responded with a statement on her website announcing that she would return the award and defending herself against the remarks of the president of the organization. "As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community," she wrote before disclosing that she will be returning the award she received in December 2019.