Thursday, April 18, 2024
LGBTQ+ RightsNews

Over 200 writers and publishers sign letter in support of trans lives

Just days after a large number of leading literary names signed a letter and came out in defense of Harry Potter author JK Rowling “receiving hate”, over 200 authors, publishers and journalists, including Malorie Blackman, Jeanette Winterson, and Joanne Harris, have all signed their names to another letter expressing their support for transgender and non-binary people.

The new letter is described as “a message of love and solidarity for the trans and non-binary community”, and was initiated by acclaimed writers Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Daisy Johnson. Other supporters also include Juno Dawson, Elizabeth Day, Max Porter, Nikesh Shukla, Sara Collins, Irenosen Okojie, Mary Jean Chan, Naoise Dolan, Olivia Sudjic, Sharlene Teo and Patrick Ness. The letter states that “non-binary lives are valid, trans women are women, trans men are men, and trans rights are human rights”.

“Culture is, and should always be, at the forefront of societal change, and as writers, editors, agents, journalists, and publishing professionals, we recognize the vital role our industry has in advancing and supporting the wellbeing and rights of trans and non-binary people,” the letter reads.

Rowling has been in the news recently because of her numerous comments on trans rights, including her argument that “if sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased”. Many have been hurt and offended by her statements, while others have defended her. 

Much of this comes simultaneously with the publication of her new crime novel, Troubled Blood, which features a serial killer who dresses in women’s clothing to coerce and fool his victims. Rowling has received much online backlash, but that hasn’t stopped the novel from making it to the No 1 spot on the UK book charts the following week.

The new letter was put together in the wake of another open letter signed by 58 writers, including Ian McEwan, Lionel Shriver, Susan Hill and Philip Hensher, recognizing what is considered abuse directed at Rowling, and the “insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media”.

“Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honorable and compassionate person,” read the letter, which was published in the weekend’s Sunday Times. “We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.”

Even though the new letter, which was published online on Wednesday, did not mention Rowling’s name, its signatories, who also include editors, agents, journalists and publishing professionals, said they all recognized the importance of showing support for trans and non-binary people.

“We stand with you, we hear you, we see you, we accept you, we love you. The world is better for having you in it,” they said.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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