Stephen Fry urges calm in debate about JK Rowling and transgender issues

Stephen Fry has called for calm in the debate on transgender issues, but said he has many transgender and intersex friends who are “deeply upset” with JK Rowling.

The 65-year-old actor and comedian, who narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks, said he would like to see both sides stop fighting because “there is no winner”.

Rowling has been criticized by several groups for her views on gender identity, having previously tweeted that she has received “so many death threats I could take them home”.


JK Rowling at the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore premiere (Ian West/PA)

Speaking on Roger Bolton’s Beeb Watch podcast, Fry was asked if he wanted to join the debate.

He said, “I won’t. I definitely disagree because I know that you are talking about an issue where both sides are very sore and worried about their enemies.”

Fry added: “She’s a friend of mine and I have transgender and heterosexual friends who are extremely upset by her.

“It’s a circle that I have to square myself,” before adding that he won’t “give up” the friendship.

When asked if he would like to see the two sides stop fighting, he replied: “I would love to see that because I don’t think there will be a winner.

“I know that JK Rowling doesn’t want to see transgender people being bullied, shunned, socially isolated, embarrassed, guilty, laughed at, all that.

“But I also know that there are people who believe that safe feminine space and the idea of ​​gender and gender differences are very important, and that they strongly reject Judith Butler – the idea of ​​gender. created, etc.

“I don’t want to get involved in an argument because it’s uncomfortable for both parties and I would like both of them to step back and consider that transgender people can live a full, acceptable life on terms their rights in society, and for women to have all the rights and dignity they claim.

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“But it won’t be possible if each side sees the other as an enemy and trans people just shout ‘terf’ (radical feminists exclude transgender people) and feminists seem to be undermining dignity. and transgender rights. transgender community, if I may use the word community – it’s a bit of an obscene word, but you get it.”

The stars of the Harry Potter series – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – are among those who have spoken out against Rowling’s views on gender.

Rowling said she was partially motivated to speak out about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic violence and sexual assault.

She has strongly denied the accusations of transphobia.

Authors’ representatives have been contacted for comment. Stephen Fry urges calm in debate about JK Rowling and transgender issues

Fry Electronics Team

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