Lesbian comedian pleads with JK Rowling to reflect on how her anti-trans rhetoric is affecting children

Nick Duffy June 8, 2020
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Lesbian comic Sarah Keyworth penned a letter to JK Rowling

Lesbian comic Sarah Keyworth penned a letter to JK Rowling (Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Lesbian comic Sarah Keyworth has penned an emotional letter to JK Rowling over the author’s inflammatory messages about transgender people.

The multi, multi-millionaire Harry Potter author spent much of the weekend infuriating her own fans with an anti-trans tirade,  insisting that “erasing the concept of sex” means there’s “no same-sex attraction” and “the lived reality of women globally is erased”.

Her comments have provoked condemnation from the fan-run Harry Potter Alliance non-profit, from former Harry Potter cast members, and from many of the queer people who Rowling had suggested are harmed by trans inclusion.

Lesbian comic tells JK Rowling: ‘By denigrating trans people you hurt the audience that made you.’

But one of the most emotional responses has come from 8 Out of 10 Cats comic and “really terrified lesbian” Sarah Keyworth.

In an open letter to Rowling on Twitter, she wrote: “I’d like to begin by saying that I am a fan of your work. Not just Harry Potter, but I have also enjoyed the novels you have written since.

“When it comes to Harry Potter, I have used the characters and world you created to inspire and educate the children in my life, specifically my goddaughter, aged 10, who needed a character like Hermione to show her that being a girl can be really, realty cool.

“My goddaughter has a school friend, for the purposes of this letter I’ll call them Luna. Luna was born with biologically male genitalia and everyone expected, because of this, that Luna would like football, blue and I dunno… tractors?

“Luna is different though, they love pink, My Little Pony and they wear skirts and dresses. When Luna comes to visit my goddaughter, she lays out matching outfits for them to wear.

“We don’t know if Luna is trans, or whether Luna identifies as male but just loves the things they love. We don’t care. If Luna is trans then they will be the most loved and accepted girl regardless of what is happening in their pants.”

She continued: “Nobody who advocates for trans rights is denying that biological sex exists. We are saying that the things that make up what we understand to be gender – penis/vagina, boy/ girl, she/her, blue/pink – is so loaded with expectation that it is toxic and damaging.”

‘There is no attack on what it means to be a lesbian.’

Keyworth added: “There is no attack on what it means to be a woman, or a lesbian. There is simply a movement to expand what that those words mean. You are safe, your lesbian friends are safe. The LGBT+ community wants desperately to be one, and the ideologies that you share drive wedges between us that don’t hurt you, or your adult lesbian friends.

“They hurt children who love your books, and your characters and see themselves in the clumsy northerner who has pink hair one day and blonde the next, or the one child with a secret, whose friends transform with him to make him feel less alone.

“You hurt them. You hurt the audience that made you. You hurt my Luna.”

The open letter was targeted at British author JK Rowling
The open letter was targeted at British author JK Rowling (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The letter continues: “I hope you read this. If you do I hope you take some time, maybe a day, before responding with some scathing quip about sex, butch lesbians or periods.

“Maybe read it out loud, maybe send it to your editor and ask your husband what he thinks. Treat it like a chapter of a book that you once dreamt would find its way into the hands of a small child who would devour its meaning.

“Wanting to be yours but losing faith, A really terrified lesbian.”

The message has naturally gone viral on Twitter. One response said: “Beautifully written. I really hope JK reads this, it pains me that somebody I once held in such high esteem is hurting so many people I love through sheer ignorance. My trans friends and students struggle enough without having one of their idols negating their human experience, too.”

Another wrote: “This is really well said. We should be putting the well-being of these vulnerable wonderful kids above everything else.”

More: anti-trans, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, lesbian, Sarah Keyworth, trans kids, transphobia

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