Matilda star Mara Wilson, Sarah Paulson and more cis women leap to defend trans people amid JK Rowling anti-trans tirade

Mara Wilson (L) and Sarah Paulson were one of countless cis women criticising JK Rowling. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Shorty Awards/Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images)

After JK Rowling weathered criticism Saturday night (June 6) for her contended comments on trans lives, a cavalcade of cis women have lept to defend the community.

Trans activists have expressed growing unease towards the Harry Potter author. The white billionaire’s thumping platform – captured by her more than 14.5 million Twitter followers – has increasingly clashed with the community as she opines on trans topics.

But her latest messages – a thread of tweets commenting on sex and gender in relation to trans folks – trembled into a tidal wave of criticism against her. A wave of tireless trans activists slammed her views, often decoding her choice of words to unveil anti-trans views tucked beneath.

Alongside them, a volley of cis women has sought to state their solidarity to one of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society.

From Matilda‘s Mara Wilson to singers Tegan and Sarah, actor Sarah Paulson to musician Mary Lambert as well as bloggers, academics and lawmakers – an incredible array of allies jumped to sound out about Rowling’s tweets.

Mara Wilson, Sarah Paulson and more cis women emphatically defend trans people. 

Wilson, 32, skewered Rowling in a scathing tweet sent Sunday (June 7). She wrote: “Really sick of one of the richest and most influential white women in the world being lauded as some great crusader and truthteller for hating on one of the most marginalized groups of people.

“Really sick of hateful people patting themselves on the back and enjoying a persecution complex for being hateful,” she added.

American Horror Story star Paulson amplified a message on the micro-blogging website by activist Ben O’Keefe. O’Keefe lit into Rowling’s note that she cares for trans people, saying: “You don’t know or love any trans people if you won’t even acknowledge their existence.”

“Word,” Paulson quote tweeted, “goodnight and shut up.” She later echoed frustrations felt among the LGBT+ community as they pleaded for Rowling to “leave us all in peace”.

Tegan and Sara issued a terse order for their around 575,000 Twitter followers: “If you are a TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] and following us, please f*ck off and unfollow us.”

The artists also called Canadian comedian Mae Martin’s idea to donate to organisations that support Black trans people “excellent”.

Many other cis women took a similar angle, often asking why Rowling is sharing, they say, anti-trans content considering her position of privilege and the “harm” it will no doubt cause.

What did JK Rowling say about trans people?

Rowling’s Twitter has, over the last few days, been a series of cartoon doodles from fan’s of her book series, The Ickabog. But compliments towards children’s crayon-work took a sudden turn Saturday evening.

The children’s book author abruptly took to Twitter to comment on people’s genitalia. She focused a thread on commenting on sex and gender in relation to trans people that sparked fury online.

Rowling’s thread was first seeded earlier that evening, when she shared an article in Devex, the media platform for the global development community, with the headline: “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

“‘People who menstruate’,” she responded. |I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

In the avalanche of tweets that followed, she sought to reassure her followers that she “knows and loves trans people” and claimed that the idea she hates trans people is “nonsense”.

Her represenatives have, in past snafus, said that Rowling’s support for anti-trans views are “middle-aged moments”.