In recent weeks, my DMs have been flooded with messages from well-meaning acquaintances, many asking precisely what was transphobic about J.K. Rowling’s self-published essay, “TERF Wars.” (In summary: a lot.) “TERF Wars” was, coincidentally, the title of a chapter in my memoir, The Gender Games. I wonder if she’s read it?
Her piece contained nothing you wouldn’t find in ‘gender critical’ forums and op-eds: that the freedoms of transgender women impinge on those of cisgender (not trans) women. In subsequent tweets, Rowling also compared trans-affirming healthcare to conversion therapy, and suggested that young trans men are merely confused lesbians. In all this, we are to understand that Rowling is not transphobic, but scared.
Rowling’s words were well-timed to coincide with a governmental review of U.K. legislation which allows transgender people to legally change their gender on their birth certificate. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 was — at the time