An Australian bookstore has banned JK Rowling’s books from its shelves because of her history of using transphobic rhetoric online and claims that her latest novel is transphobic.
Rabble Books and Games, in the Maylands suburb of Perth, said in a Facebook post it will not stock novels from the author’s crime-writer pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, and has started to phase out Harry Potter titles in order to make the store a “safer space”.
Customers can still order the children’s series from the shop, but the titles won’t appear on the shelves and profits will be donated to Trans Folk WA.
“(We are) trying not to put books by transphobes on the shelves, when we know about them,” the shop said in a Facebook post.
“There are more worthy books to put on the shelf, books that don’t harm communities and won’t make us sad to unpack them.”
JK has attracted criticism for her comments on gender identity but denies she is transphobic.
The conversation has been reignited following early reviews of her latest book, ‘Troubled Blood’, which centres on a cisgender male serial killer who dresses as a woman to murder his female victims.
In June, JK commented on an article titled, ’Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate’, pushing back against the headline for not referring to those who get their periods as just ‘women’.
She tweeted: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
The tweet sparked a wave of backlash from the LGBTQ community and its supporters who accusing her of erasing trans people and reminded the author that transgender people, nonbinary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate.
JK stood by her comments, arguing “it isn’t hate to speak the truth”.
The 55-year-old author added: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Many stars of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies spoke out in support of the trans community following JK’s comments, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Eddie Redmayne.
Daniel, who became a worldwide star after playing schoolboy wizard Harry Potter in the blockbuster adaptations of the beloved book series, stated “transgender women are women”.
With additional reporting from HuffPost UK.