JK Rowling shares video of woman heckling Nicola Sturgeon over trans rights. There’s just one problem…

A woman screams and points at the back of a room of people sitting at tables, who appear very uncomfortable

JK Rowling took to Twitter on Thursday (1 December) to celebrate a heckler during Nicola Sturgeon’s speech at a charity event combatting violence against women.

On Tuesday (29 November), Zero Tolerance, a feminist Scottish charity that campaigns to end violence against women and girls, celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, gave a speech at the event, but was interrupted by a heckler screaming: “Shame on you!”

The woman said that Sturgeon had created a “culture in Scotland that basically tells women they’re bigoted for standing up for women’s rights”, adding: “I see you! Thousands of women in Scotland see you as well!”

The heckler then turned her rage on the event’s attendees, who appeared extremely uncomfortable, telling them: “Those of you who are sitting here, complicit, keeping your mouths shut while women have actually been raped by males who have self-IDed as women.”

The woman appeared to be referring to reform of the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland, which does not impact trans people’s access to spaces or their rights in any way, and simply makes the process of legal gender recognition easier and more dignified.

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Rowling shared the clip, tweeting: “Scenes. In spite of all careful precautions, the first minister has been accidentally exposed to some freedom of speech. Heads will surely roll. (If nobody’s yet sent that heckler a crate of whatever her favourite tipple is, do please send me her details).”

But Twitter users were quick to point out that Rowling was not telling the whole story.

Zero Tolerance is a staunchly trans-inclusive charity, and states on its website: “It is our position that trans and non-binary rights are integral to, and contribute to, feminism.

“Scotland’s violence against women services provide trans inclusive services and trans inclusion plans have been in place since 2012. This inclusive approach has not given rise to any concern or challenges. Rather, trans women have added to our movements through their support, voluntary work and as staff members… Violence against women, homophobia and transphobia are all rooted in misogyny.

“We are committed to working with partner LGBTQI+ organisations to end this inequality, discrimination and violence.”

Ahead of the event, Zero Tolerance had asked that attendees refrain from discussing the Gender Recognition Act, noting that while there were differing opinions, the issue had nothing to do with violence against women.

In a longer clip, including footage not thought relevant by Rowling, the heckler continues screaming while a Zero Tolerance representative tells her that the charity wanted to “create an environment where all women feel safe”.

Her comment was met with thunderous applause from the audience, and after the heckler was led out of the room, the charity worker continued: “I’m so sorry today has come to this. There are so many things we agree on, we are fighting for a Scotland free of violence against women.

“I really hope that the rest of the conversations today can focus on those issues, rather than this one antagonist issue that has captured all of us recently. I hope that we can have a collaborative conversation that visualises that future, that enables all our sisters in this room to feel safe and supported. Because that’s what we need at the moment.”

Sharing the longer clip, one Twitter user wrote: “Here’s the full video of the verbal attack on a Scottish women’s charity that JK Rowling has offered to reward.

“The version JK shared cuts just before the room applauds a woman making a trans-inclusive statement while the transphobe is led out ranting about sex offenders.”

“Share the whole video… a comment in support of trans rights got a round of applause from the room straight after this,” another told Rowling.

“This view is a minority view and is not supported by women and feminists.”

Zero Tolerance and JK Rowling have been approached for comment by PinkNews.