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3 Jul, 2020 09:00

Online schism divides Harry Potter lovers after fan sites distance themselves from ‘transphobic’ J.K. Rowling

Online schism divides Harry Potter lovers after fan sites distance themselves from ‘transphobic’ J.K. Rowling

The decision by several Harry Potter fan sites to repudiate the book series’ author for her comments on transgender women has split social-media-using Muggles, leading to an unprecedented schism in the fictional wizard community.

Two popular online Potter destinations, the Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet, announced on Thursday that they would no longer link to J.K. Rowling’s personal website or use photographs of the wildly successful author. There will also be strict guidelines governing when her name can be referenced in articles that appear on their websites.

The sites shared a joint statement on Twitter in which they accused Rowling of holding “harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person.”

Rowling has faced blowback for publicly stating her belief that transgender women should not be viewed as the same as biological females. However, she has repeatedly stressed that she respects trans people and supports their right to “live in a way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.” But her nuanced position on the matter doesn’t appear to have sat well with some Potter fanatics.

Also on rt.com Trans women are women, says Stephen King, prompting J.K. Rowling to unfollow him and rescind her praise

One comment expressed love for the Harry Potter series but thought Rowling was a “trashy person.”

“Trans people have a right to not have their right to exist questioned,” argued a Twitter user in support of the fan-led coup. Another reply urged the author to get on her “bigoted broomstick” and fly away.

There were plenty of dissenters, however. Fans with “#IstandWithJKRowling” in their profiles launched a counter-offensive, accusing the sites of hypocrisy and virtue-signaling.

Others noted that the online portals should be providing full coverage of all Harry Potter-related news, and not creating “safe spaces” for fans.

Although Rowling has been lambasted for her views, she recently doubled-down after she stopped following Stephen King on Twitter – apparently because she took issue with his assertion that “trans women are women.”

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