Singer Halsey is among a list of celebrities and fans taking issue with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's take on transgender issues as they relate to her preferred role as a woman.
Rowling, sharing an article on the creation of a "more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate," seemed to take issue with the "people who menstruate" language and posited whether there used to be a word for such a person. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?," she wrote.
Halsey, ever the cheerleader for LGBTQ+ inclusion hit back, touching on the themes Rowling took on in her beloved Harry Potter series and her view that the author is striking down the already oppressed when she could be lifting them up.
"Imagine writing a generation defining series about a youth uprisal that defeats a tyrannical monster motivated by the preservation of 'pure blood,'" Halsey asked. "And looking at THIS time in the world and going 'hmm... yep. I’m gonna invalidate trans people.'"
Rowling explained her point in follow-up messages saying, "I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is. Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge."
"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.
"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.
"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth."
The issue has been met with a mixture of consternation and applause for both arguments. Some commenters updated the writer on human biology in 2020...
While British actress Jameela Jalil simply asked the author to share some of her mega-millions with trans charities...
On the other hand, some have spoken up for Rowling, asking that readers not jump to conclusions, educate themselves, and hear out what she is saying...
Halsey has been consistently using her platform not only to speak out for LGBTQ+ issues over her career, but also the Black Lives Matter movement currently underway following the death of George Floyd - taking rubber bullets during protests in Los Angeles, and explaining to fans her experience as a bi-racial American.