Eddie Izzard insists JK Rowling ‘isn’t transphobic’ as gender fluid comic defends author’s views

·2-min read

Eddie Izzard, a British gender fluid comedian and decades-long Labour Party campaigner, has defended JK Rowling over her anti-trans comments.

Izzard, 58, sought to defend the Harry Potter author whose tweets and blog posts have nettled the LGBT+ people in the last year, with top activists branding her a “threat” to the community.

“I don’t think JK Rowling is transphobic,” the comedian told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. “I think we need to look at the things she has written about in her blog.

“Women have been through such hell over history. Trans people have been invisible, too.

“I hate the idea we are fighting between ourselves, but it’s not going to be sorted with the wave of a wand.

“I don’t have all the answers. If people disagree with me, fine – but why are we going through hell on this?”

JK Rowling has fielded criticism for her views on trans rights for two years

Rowling sparked rows throughout 2019 with a rafter of winding Twitter threads and thousand-words-long blog posts on trans people.

Seemingly re-positioning herself as a trans rights commentator, she was fiercely criticised by, you know, actual trans people for putting forward a multitude of debunked claims and misleading assertions, many centring on gender recognition law and the healthcare options available to trans youth.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling at the Broadway opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (Getty)

Concerns over her opinions were first sown in 2018 when the writer “liked” a tweet that referred to trans women as “men in dresses”. Rowling’s representatives attempted to add sweeteners to the controversy by saying this was simply a “middle-aged moment”.

However, since then, her engagement with trans topics has rocketed.

The high-water moment came when Rowling launched into a string of tweets that ridiculed trans-inclusive language, followed swiftly by a dense essay outlining her opinions on sex and gender.

In the 3,700-word blog post, she wrote: “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators.”

Since the saga, the holy trinity of Harry Potter’s film franchise – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – all rebelled from Rowling by denouncing her, raising morale for trans fans.

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