Harry Potter fan sites distance themselves from JK Rowling over transgender rights | World news

Two of the biggest Harry Potter fan sites have distanced themselves from author JK Rowling because of her beliefs on transgender rights, calling them at odds with the message of empowerment in her best-selling books.

Websites the Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet said on Thursday they would no longer provide links to the British author’s personal website, use photos of her, or write about achievements that do not relate to the world she created.

The joint statement by the fan sites said Rowling’s airing of “harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person” during Pride Month and her views on “marginalised people [are] out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community”.

It follows a lengthy personal essay by Rowling last month in which she detailed her beliefs on transgender rights, including examples of where she thought demands by transgender activists were dangerous to women.

The essay was criticised by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups as divisive and transphobic.

In recent weeks, stars of the Harry Potter films – including Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character, and Eddie Redmayne, who starred in the spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – have spoken out against Rowling’s comments on transgender people. Four authors quit Rowling’s literary agency in June after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights.

The fan sites, which together have more than one million Facebook followers, said members found it difficult to speak out against Rowling because they had admired her work for so long, but said “it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused.”

“Our stance is firm: transgender women are women,” the statement said. “Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities.

“While we don’t condone the mistreatment [Rowling] has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs.”

Rowling’s representatives declined to comment on Friday’s statement.

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