J.K Rowling’s latest book, ‘Troubled Blood’ has come under fire from activists on the claim that the book is transphobic. The author has denied the allegations even as netizens express outrage over the central protagonist, a make serial killer who disguises himself as women while looking to kill female victims. Rowling has made several comments in the past regarding transgender persons, which have been condemned worldwide.
Amid widespread outrage, reactions have ranged across call to boycott to bookshops removing all works of the author from their establishments. Australia’s Rabble Books and Games was the first to remove it from the shelves. The shop also took to Facebook to state that it will do its best to make itself a safe space for all people and ensure that it will “not put books by transphobes on the shelves.”
The row has triggered several hashtags on the micro-blogging platform Twitter including #RIPJKRowling with many claiming that the book preaches people to “never trust a man in a dress.” However, a review in The Telegraph clarified that the book never names the character, Dennis Creed as being a transvestite. Rowling has also published a clarification on her official website saying that the character is loosely inspired from real-life killers Jerry Brudos and Russell Williams, not the trans community.
The controversy around J.K. Rowling’s opinions on trans people dates back to 2017 when the author shared a post on social media which was transphobic and captioned it, “middle-aged moment.” In June, she came under fire for writing with the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of using ‘women.’ The author did not take into account the experiences of non-binary people in particular men who menstruate and cisgender women who do not.