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Linda Riley, the LGBT+ campaigner and founder of Lesbian Visibility Week, has condemned JK Rowling for a tweet about the occasion.
The Harry Potter author, who identifies as heterosexual, has previously faced criticism from LGBT+ groups and fans for her views on transgender rights.
“Lesbian Visibility Week starts today in the UK,” wrote Rowling on Monday (25 April), alongside an image of barister Alison Bailey at a Pride event in San Francisco in 1991. “A good moment to salute the resilience and courage of my inspirational friend. #IStandWithAllisonBailey.”
Bailey, who describes herself as a “lifelong campaigner for racial equality, lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights”, is a controversial figure within the LGBT+ community due to her stances on trans issues. She is currently suing the LGBT+ charity Stonewall in a discrimination action, claiming that the organisation is “policing free speech via its Diversity Champions scheme”.
Reacting to Rowling’s post, Riley wrote: “Wow! I certainly did not create #LesbianVisibilityWeek so that people like @jk_rowling could use it as a vehicle to stir up more hate within our community.
“This is a perfect example of #HowNotToBeAnAlly #IStandWithStonewall -#LWithTheT.”
Rowling has repeatedly rejected accusations that she is transphobic, and has claimed that she “knows and loves” trans people.
The Independent has contacted Riley for further comment. A representative for Rowling declined to comment.
Wow! I certainly did not create #LesbianVisibilityWeek so that people like @jk_rowling could use it as a vehicle to stir up more hate within our community. This is a perfect example of #HowNotToBeAnAlly #IStandWithStonewall -#LWithTheT https://t.co/yrUEKIPHrf
— Linda Riley (@LindaRiley8) April 25, 2022
Lesbian Visibility Week – which runs between 25 April and 1 May – was introduced in 2020 by Diva magazine under Riley’s publishership.
According to its website, the week aims “both to celebrate lesbians and show solidarity with all LGBTQI women and non binary people in our community”.