J.K. Rowling likens trans youth medical resources to conversion therapy

ABOVE: J.K. Rowling (Photo courtesy Facebook.)

Author J.K. Rowling has stirred up controversy online for framing the health care treatment options available to transgender youth as a form of conversion therapy.

On July 5, Rowling started a Twitter thread in response to a tweet that alleged the author supported the view of individuals who characterize people taking mental health medication as lazy.

After denying the allegation, Rowling shifted her commentary to the provision of medical treatment to trans youth. She referenced the apparent concern of “many health professionals” in administering hormones to young patients, as well as giving them access to surgical procedures. She added that these practices can place youth on “a lifelong path of medicalization that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”

Rowling’s tweets quickly sparked a wave of backlash online.

Queer actress and “The Good Place” star Jameela Jamil responded by retweeting an interview she did with a medical professional on the transition process for transgender individuals. She also accused Rowling’s commentary of generating speculation, fear mongering and judgment toward the trans community.

Twitter user narcissariddles pointed out the ironic parallel between the characters of the Harry Potter series and the response of many young people to Rowling’s comments.

Gendered Intelligence, a trans-youth charity in the U.K., countered Rowling’s assertion that the side-effects of hormone therapy are “often minimized or denied by trans activists” and emphasized the importance of affirming the bodily autonomy of transgender patients.

The National Center for Transgender Equality called Rowling’s tweets disappointing and implied that her online commentary perpetuates misinformation about the trans experience.

In June, Rowling drew the condemnation of prominent LGBTQ+ organizations for making comments that many online perceived as being transphobic.

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