Cynthia Nixon recently opened up about the effects of J.K. Rowling‘s transphobic tweets on her family. Rowling has been roundly criticized for her recent remarks about the trans community and for echoing tired TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) talking points online.
Samuel, her son who is trans, grew up reading and loving the Harry Potter series. In a recent interview with The Independent, the activist, actor, and mother described how Rowling’s words had a negative impact on her son.
“We’re a Harry Potter family,” Cynthia Nixon explained in a new interview.
“It was really painful for him because so much of his childhood was tied up with Harry Potter,” Nixon told The Independent. “We’re a Harry Potter family. The books seem to be about championing people who are different, so for her to select this one group of people who are obviously different and sort of deny their existence, it’s just… it’s really baffling. I know she feels like she’s standing up for feminism, but I don’t get it.”
It probably surprised some readers that, at the end of the article, the writer noted Nixon was in the middle of a Harry Potter marathon.
“Max has a friend of his here right now who has never seen any of the films, so we are actually watching all of them,” the actor said, referencing her youngest child. “We’re halfway through number six.”
When asked if she or Samuel felt any unease watching the movies following Rowling’s tweets, Nixon looked back at Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe‘s response to Rowling’s posts.
“The thing that he tried to impart to people was that if you as a queer person or as a non-queer person have found a home in these stories, please don’t let this take that away from you,” she said. “These are still your stories.”
Rowling has received plenty of backlash for comments she’s made about transgender people over the past year. In December 2019, for instance, Rowling faced criticism after she showed her support for Maya Forstater, a woman whose employment was not renewed after she made offensive comments about the transgender community. Her views were described by a court as “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
Rowling then faced judgment again in June 2020 for her tweets concerning a DevEx article titled. “Opinion: Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People who Menstruate.”
“‘People who menustruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote in one of her tweets at the time. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Then, things just kept going downhill for the author. She just kept fanning the flames!
“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she tweeted, adding, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Following the inflammatory tweets, actor Emma Watson, spoke out against Rowling’s multiple statements. “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” tweeted in response.
As Cynthia Nixon so elequontly put it, many of Rowling’s young fans are attracted to the Harry Potter books because they seem to “championing people who are different.” We’d like to see the same from this author. Her words are not helping anyone.