JK Rowling rages against supporters of trans youth charity Mermaids – such as Emma Watson and AOC

JK Rowling

JK Rowling, who runs a charity for children, has taken to Twitter to rage against… a charity for children.

On Monday (26 September), the contentious Harry Potter author shared an article from The Telegraph, which claimed to have undertaken an “investigation” into the charity Mermaids.

The story mostly relied on an adult masquerading as a 14-year-old child to access services from Mermaids, including the charity’s youth forum and web chat helpline.

The “revelations” the newspaper claimed to have exposed were activities that the charity is already open about, for example provider binders to trans youth, or allowing discussion around life-saving puberty blockers on its youth forums.

But Rowling, who runs a charity for children herself, decided to tweet a film on puberty blockers, made by the anti-trans lobby group LGB Alliance, and said: “Mermaids has been advising children about puberty blockers without parental consent.”

Young people’s ability to receive advice and services from charities without parental consent is widely accepted, both nationally and internationally.

For example, Childline allows children of any age to connect them selves with a counsellor and keeps this completely confidential, gives advice on visiting a doctor without a parent, and lets children use their message boards to discuss topics like mental health, gender and sexuality.

But Observer columnist Sonia Sodha responded to Rowling, saying: “It’s one thing for some campaigners to try and influence medical care like this. Quite another when the institutions and professionals supposed to have children’s interests at heart allowed themselves to be captured by those unqualified to have a view.

“There are a lot of people in the NHS and in government who should feel deeply ashamed of their role in this.”

Rowling agreed, adding: “Not to mention corporations and celebrities who’ve been cheering Mermaids on without doing the slightest bit of due diligence.”

The replies to Rowling’s tweet were filled with criticism of celebrities, public figures and companies that have openly supported the trans youth charity, including US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Harry Potter star Emma Watson.

Watson has long been a staunch trans ally in the face of Rowling’s views.

After Rowling published her now-notorious essay outlining her stance on trans rights, Watson took to Twitter to announce that she had made a donation to Mermaids.

“Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” she tweeted at the time.

“I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.”

A representative for JK Rowling has been contacted for comment.