J.K. Rowling Is Giving Her Human Rights Award Back Following Trans Comments Backlash

“Trans rights are human rights"

Author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has announced that she’s given back her human rights award after the president of the organisation openly called out her anti-trans comments.

Rowling received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation’s Ripple of Hope award in 2019, for her work in helping to protect children’s rights by illustrating the abuse often seen in the orphanage system. However, now she has decided to hand the award back after the president of the organisation came out in disagreement of her comments towards the trans community.

Kerry Kennedy, president of the organisation, has openly disagreed with Rowling’s comments, criticising her for targeting the community with her transphobic comments.

“I have spoken with J.K. Rowling to express my profound disappointment that she has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and non-binary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community.

“One that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm.

Kennedy went on to say:

“Trans rights are human rights. J.K. Rowling’s attacks upon the transgender community are inconsistent with the fundamental beliefs and values of RFK Human Rights and represent a repudiation of my father’s vision.”

J.K. Rowling
(Credit: Getty Images)

Following the statement, Rowling posted her own response on her own website, where she denounces the idea that she is transphobic and called out Kennedy’s statement.

“RFKHR has stated that there is no conflict between the current radical trans rights movement and the rights of women. The thousands of women who’ve got in touch with me disagree, and, like me, believe this clash of rights can only be resolved if more nuance is permitted in the debate,” the statement read.

“In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year.”

She added: “I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience.”

The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award is typically awarded to people who have “demonstrated a commitment to social change”, with past recipients including former President Barack Obama,  Archbishop Desmond Tutu and George Clooney among others.

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