For years now, the author has courted contoversy with her views on transgender rights.
It appeared to start in June 2020 when she called out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”.
This tweet divided Twitter users. While there was a contingent who supported Rowling, there were many – including numerous celebrities – who criticised her comment as “anti-trans” and “transphobic”, arguing that transgender, non-binary and non-gender conforming people can also menstruate.
In an essay, the author addressed the backlash while also detailing her experiences of surviving alleged domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The essay sparked further criticism and many actors from the Harry Potter franchise, including Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, have since voiced their support for trans people.
Now, Luna Lovegood star Evanna Lynch has shared her views on the mater. At the time, Lynch deleted her social media account after saying in response to Rowling’s initial comments: “It’s irresponsible to discuss such a delicate topic. That said, as a friend and admirer of Jo I can’t forget what a generous and loving person she is.”
Lynch famously won the role of Luna in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix after writing to the author about her struggles with anorexia. Rowling responded with “incredible, wise letters” while Lynch recovered.
In a new interview, Lynch said she “was very naive” when she was “dragged into that conversation” back in 2020.
“I didn’t even know there were two sides,” she told The Telegraph. “I had a view of, like, good and bad. I do have compassion for both sides of the argument. I know what it was like to be a teenager who hated my body so much I wanted to crawl out of my skin, so I have great compassion for trans people and I don’t want to add to their pain.”
She continued: “I do also think it’s important that JK Rowling has been amplifying the voices of de-transitioners. I had this impulse to go, ‘Let’s all just stop talking about it’, and I think probably I’m a bit braver now about having uncomfortable conversations.”
Lynch said that she was surprised by the continued backlash aganist Rowling, “especially when she wrote her essay”, which saw the author share personal details about her life.
“I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there’s a disagreement over who’s the most vulnerable. I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her,” she said.
Last month, Rowling dimissed worries that her stance on trans issues and gender recognition will overshadow her legacy as the creator of Harry Potter.
The author said in a new podcast, which was partly created to address the backlash over remarks: “Whatever – I’ll be dead! I care about now. I care about the living.”