Posting to just below 14 million followers on Twitter, JK Rowling has now linked the image of a transgender woman with a beard as an attempt to clap back at criticism regarding her support of Allison Bailey. A move which can only be described as targeted harassment.
JK Rowling’s spiral into more and more extreme anti-trans activism has led her to engage in targeted harassment against a transgender woman who was not at all involved in the conversation or criticisms being levied against her today.
“Wow! I certainly did not create #LesbianVisibilityWeek so that people like @jk_rowling could use it as a vehicle to stir up more hate within our community. This is a perfect example of #HowNotToBeAnAlly#IStandWithStonewall –#LWithTheT“
Rowling responded with both a screenshot of Riley’s tweet and an image of Alex Drummond, a psychotherapist and photographer who happens to be a transgender woman that has a beard. Included with the tweet Rowling described Drummond as a “Stonewall-approved lesbian”, as if to imply Stonewall does not support Bailey’s lesbianism – which it does. It just doesn’t support her transphobia.
Alex Drummond has been on the receiving end of heavy transphobic abuse and harassment first and foremost for being a transgender woman, but secondly for being one who has a beard. This has been ongoing for several years. Transphobes referring to themselves as “gender critical” simply can’t help themselves but assert that no woman could ever be proud of having a beard, ignoring the myriad of cisgender women who have beards too in order to make such a misogynist argument.
Rowling is fresh off of yet another transphobia-related controversy after she welcomed Dennis Noel Kavanagh (@Jebadoo2) back to Twitter after a temporary suspension. Kavanagh was banned for a tweet in which he said HIV was a preferable to Stonewall and Mermaids because it “didn’t castrate innocent gay boys”.
Rowling claims she was merely supporting a “black lesbian fighting for her rights” with her original tweet. The one with the image of Bailey marching in San Francisco, 1991. As a reminder; 1991 was the year San Francisco LGBT campaigner and transgender man Lou Sullivan died of AIDS related complications after spending a lot of his life campaigning specifically for inclusion as a gay transgender man. In his own words:
“I took a certain pleasure in informing the gender clinic that even though their program told me I could not live as a Gay man, it looks like I’m going to die like one.”
The beliefs which transphobes have wherein they try to assert a narrative of LGBT movements having historically been very trans exclusionary is simply false. Trans people have been here fighting for our existence for a lot longer than people like Bailey or Rowling have actively been aware of us. Do not mistake their ignorance for a lack of action on our community’s part.
It is my view that such a tweet serves no other purpose than to direct harassment towards either a) Alex Drummond as an individual B) women who don’t adhere to feminine beauty standards and C) all transgender women. Though I have absolutely zero expectations that Twitter will enforce its terms of service with regards to the incredibly rich and well-connected author.