The author of the Harry Potter books, JK Rowling, is once again being criticized by transgender rights activists because of her latest novel under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith– Troubled Blood.
Troubled Blood, released September 15, is the fifth installment to Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series and it features a cross-dressing serial killer.
People are quick to call out the premise as transphobic. After all, this is not the first time that the author was tagged as such. Back in June, Rowling went under fire because she retweeted an opinion piece titled ‘Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate’; and she added in the caption: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
After the backlash, Rowling recoiled with her follow-up tweet, but remained adamant to her stand on the issue. “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,” she tweeted.
But this was just the beginning, as she would be tweeting more opinions about the subject. In June 10, the author also posted a lengthy explainer to her viewpoint on the issue.
“All I’m asking – all I want – is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse,” the author wrote.
After her numerous tweets, some of the cast of the film adaptations of her books also shared their stance on the matter.
Rowling also returned her Ripple of Hope honour awarded by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation, after its president Kerry Kennedy criticized her views.
With the release of this new book, the conflict between Rowling and the LGBTQ+ community and its supporters go deeper. Meanwhile, The Guardian‘s review defends the novel, pointing out that it was the initial review on the book that put it in a bad light.
“The Telegraph review chose to go big on Creed, describing him as ‘a transvestite serial killer’, and asking ‘what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues’ would make of it. But Creed is just one of many suspects – and without giving too much away, he is not the main villain, nor is he portrayed as trans or even called a ‘transvestite’ by Rowling.” Wrote Alison Flood for The Guardian.
For more information about Troubled Blood, you can check it out on Amazon.
Homestream image from the JK Rowling website.