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Harry Potter author JK Rowling has once again found herself embroiled in controversy after tweeting a link to a shop that sells anti-transgender merchandise.
Rowling’s 14 million followers were offered the ability to buy pins and stickers that include messages such as, “Transwomen are men,” “woman is not a costume,” “sorry about your dick bro,” “f*ck your pronouns,” and “lesbians don’t have penises.”
“Sometimes a T-shirt just speaks to you…” Rowling tweeted earlier this week, linking to the Wild Womyn Workshop and including a photo of herself in a T-shirt that reads, “This witch doesn’t burn.”
“From [Wild Womyn], in case you know a witch who’d like one,” she wrote, adding, “If you are (or know) a witch who wants one of these, don’t buy from cynical chancers. I got my T-shirt from [Wild Womyn].”
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 22, 2020
In addition to Rowling’s “feminist witch” T-shirt, the shop includes an entire section of “gender critical” products, PinkNews reports.
Among the anti-trans messages, shoppers can buy badges that tout “Trans-ideology erases women” and “Don’t call me ‘cis,'” mugs that say “Notorious Transphobe” and “Member of ‘TERF.”
Other products compare transitioning to conversion therapy and claim support for “Detransitioners” — those who transition back to their assigned sex at birth.
Further products say that “Female biology is not an identity,” that “Queer politics erases women,” and urge supporters to “Get the L out of LGBT.”
Wild Womyn is owned by Angela C. Wild, who co-founded Get The L Out, and anti-transgender group that demands lesbian rights be separated from the wider LGBTQ rights movement.
The group gained notoriety in 2018 after forcing their way to the front of the Pride in London parade and staging an anti-trans protest.
Pride in London called their behavior “shocking and disgusting” and apologized to those in attendance for the “bigotry, ignorance and hate” that was on display by the group.
Get The L Out said it was protesting “on behalf of all the lesbians intimidated, threatened and silenced by the GBT community everywhere.”
“The GBT community today, by supporting the rights of males who “identify as lesbians” (also called “transwomen”) over the rights of lesbians to choose their sexual partners (on the basis of their sex, not how they “identify”) is in fact enforcing heterosexuality on lesbians,” a spokesperson said at the time. “This is a misogynistic and anti-lesbian manifestation of the rape culture we live in.”
Pride in London said it rejected what the group stands for, adding, “They do not share our values, which are about inclusion and respect and support for the most marginalized parts of our community.
“We are proud of our trans volunteers, proud of the trans groups that are in our parade, proud of our trans speakers at events and proud of the trans people who take part in our campaigns and proud of those who cheered even louder for them yesterday.”
JK Rowling has increasingly come under fire for comments and tweets viewed as anti-transgender, or sharing anti-transgender ideas.
Earlier this month, the latest book in her Cormoran Strike detective series, penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, drew criticism for including a male serial killer who dresses as a woman in order to kill his victims.
The Harry Potter author has also tweeted claims that sex is being replaced with gender identity, and responded to backlash over her comments by publishing a blog post titled “TERF wars,” in which she made unsourced claims about gender identity and detransitioning, drawing further ire from LGBTQ people and allies.
Her comments led stars of the Harry Potter film franchise to publicly support trans people, including lead actor Daniel Radcliffe, who published an essay affirming that “transgender women are women.”
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has criticized Republican-led efforts in multiple states to attack and restrict the rights of transgender individuals.
Buttigieg, the first openly gay Senate-confirmed cabinet secretary, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week to mark the end of Pride Month and to speak about President Biden's infrastructure plans.
He denounced those "politicians who’ve decided it’s good politics to attack transgender kids, some of the most vulnerable people in our society."
Lawmakers in multiple Republican-controlled states have introduced or passed laws restricting healthcare access for trans youth and banning transgender athletes from competing in sports according to their gender identity.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has signed a budget into law containing a provision that grants medical professionals the right to refuse to perform procedures that they believe violate their religious or moral beliefs -- which critics say could result in denying LGBTQ people treatment for medically necessary care.
The so-called "medical conscience" provision was approved by the Republican-led State Senate's version of the budget and then adopted by a conference committee, with the overall budget then green-lighted by both chambers.
Under the provision, health care workers, hospitals, and health insurance companies are allowed to refuse to provide, perform, or pay for specific medical procedures or services that violate their conscience "as informed by the moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or principles held by the practitioner, institution or payer." The right of refusal is limited to conscience-based objections to particular services, and cannot be applied broadly to deny any or all care sought by a patient.
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed statements of interest in two cases stemming from lawsuits challenging recent laws restricting transgender rights.
The first case in which the DOJ has filed a statement of interest is B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Ed., in which an 11-year-old transgender girl is challenging a recently passed law that would prohibit her from joining her middle school girls' cross-country team.
Instead, under the law, because she was assigned male at birth, she can only join the boys' team. Her lawyers argue that the law discriminates against her, and other trans youth, based on their sex and gender identity, making it unconstitutional under both the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex-based discrimination.
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