Literary giant J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, tweeted on June 6 about her opinion on biological sex and gender identity.
If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased… https://t.co/1NlkCzXfnB— J.K. Rowling (@J.K. Rowling)1591480967.0
Rowling put out this hot take in the midst of pride month, a month dedicated to those in the LGBTQ community. A month when, if coronavirus (COVID-19) weren't preventing it, many would be in the streets with their community marching in parades bringing greater awareness to the struggles of being in the community in our society.
It's honestly shocking that she would think this was an opportune moment to speak on this, especially in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests which are still going on across America.
While Rowling may believe that the trans community simply existing is a tool for the erasure of the lived experience of women, she's in fact playing into the narrative of trans erasure that has been sowed in our society and by which President Trump has touted and made actionable in more than one way.
According to the New York Times, in 2018 the Trump administration looked to define gender by the "determined genitalia at birth." They also said that "the new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into."
Since then, the Trump administration has said that the inclusion of transgender student-athletes violates federal law. While the erasure of women in our society is a very real thing, the erasure of the trans community is something that is being weaponized by the Trump administration against trans people.
When people with the cultural status of J.K. Rowling sow that same seed, it not only does damage, but it mobilizes that opinion among a huge following of people.
Rowling commands a 14.5 million person following on Twitter. With such a massive following, she needs to understand just how impactful what she says can be.
While the lived experience of women is an important thing and should not be erased, it's equally important to note that just because transgender people exist does not mean that the lived experience of women is being erased.