• Clodagh Meaney

Irish LGBT+ organisations come together to condemn JK Rowling's attack on trans people

"We will not stand idly by while some of the most vulnerable members of our community are vilified and attacked"

By Clodagh Meaney

LGBT+ organisations across Ireland have come together to condemn JK Rowling's recent Twitter attack on trans people.

Earlier this week the author of the world famous Harry Potter series mocked a publication for using the term "people who menstruate."

Following the tweet, Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Evanna Lynch have all spoken out against the writer with people like Hozier and Eddie Redmayne joining in to re-iterate their stance on trans rights.

In an open letter today, LGBT+ organisations, such as BeLonGTo, Gay Community News and Transgender Equality Network Ireland, condemned the attack.

"We write, as LGBT+ organisations in Ireland, to condemn in the strongest possible terms yet another attack on a vulnerable minority within our community," their statement began.

"The latest broadside against trans people, by well-known author JK Rowling, comes on the back of many similar attacks that we have seen across the social, political and media spectrum in the UK and further afield," they said.

"Everywhere we look we see trans rights under attack and being eroded, most recently in Hungary."

"We have watched these developments with a growing sense of alarm and unease and while we have not been as affected by this hostility here in Ireland, we are conscious that this is something we are not immune to," the statement continued.

"We recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of marriage equality and we are approaching the same anniversary of the Gender Recognition Act. While Ireland has gender recognition for many (but not for those under 18) in our community now is not the time to rest on our laurels."

The statement highlighted the damage being done to trans children and their families because of JK Rowling's platform and influence.

"Rowling is a much-loved figure around the world and her words have influence. She has a huge platform that reaches millions of people, many of them children. What would it say to our young trans people, to trans children and their families, were to stay silent on this issue. But we will not be silent. "

The organisations stated that they would not stand by while some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBT+ community were under attack.

"We will not stand idly by while some of the most vulnerable members of our community are vilified and attacked. We must speak truth to power."

"And so we stand with our trans siblings, both here in Ireland and around the world when we say that trans, non-binary and intersex people are part of our community and it is community that makes us strong."

The statement also pointed out arguments used against the gay community are now being used towards trans people.

"It is community that brings us together. We are here for you and we will resist every and any movement pulling us apart. We see the same abhorrent arguments levelled against the transgender community – that you are a danger to children and that we shouldn’t teach kids about transgender issues – that we saw levelled against the gay community in the 1980s.

"We did not stand for it then and we will not stand for it now."

NXF, Outcomers, Outwest, This Is Me, Dublin Lesbian Line, Dublin Pride, and Equality for Children were organisations that also co-signed the statement.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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