Author J.K. Rowling has returned the Ripple of Hope Award she received from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization last year, NBC News reports.
The writer of the “Harry Potter” series was given the award for her work founding Lumos, “an international nonprofit NGO with a mission to move children worldwide out of orphanages and institutions and into loving family care by 2050,” according to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization website.
But Rowling’s recent posts about transgender people raised concerns for Kerry Kennedy, the president of the human rights group and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
Kennedy issued a statement earlier this month that said throughout LGBTQ Pride Month, Rowling posted “deeply troubling transphobic tweets and statements."
Rowling replied to the Kennedy organization in a Thursday statement on her website.
She posted that she returned the award “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 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,” Rowling said.
Kennedy’s statement noted that she spoke to 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 nonbinary 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. Black trans women and trans youth in particular are targeted.”
“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," Kennedy continued.
Rowling claimed on her site that Kennedy’s “statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people.”
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