LONDON: ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling has revealed she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The celebrated British writer said in a blog post that she was disclosing the information to give context to her controversial past comments about transgender women. “This isn’t an easy piece to write,” Rowling said in an essay on gender identity and her own troubled past.
“I’ve been in the public eye now for over twenty years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor,” Rowling wrote. “This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.”
Rowling caused a scandal last weekend after tweeting about menstruation. ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe issued any apologise to transwomen who may have been offended by Rowling’s remark.
The feud dated back to comments from December in which Rowling expressed support for a woman who had lost her job over what her employer deemed to be transphobic tweets.
Rowling said that “accusations and threats from trans activists have been bubbling” on her Twitter account ever since. She ended her post by affirming that she was “a survivor (and) certainly not a victim”.
“I haven’t written this essay in the hope that anybody will get out a violin for me, not even a teeny-weeny one,” she said. “I’ve only mentioned my past because, like every other human being on this planet, I have a complex backstory, which shapes my fears, my interests and my opinions.”
Rowling said she had spent many years thinking about trans issues because of her own troubles with gender identity when she was young.
She also argued that “the current explosion of trans activism” has resulted in too many people undergoing gender reassignment surgery without giving it sufficient thought. “I want transwomen to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make… girls and women less safe.”
She also stood up for her right to speak freely about an issue that she said has been with her throughout life. “As a much-banned author, I’m interested in freedom of speech and have publicly defended it, even unto Donald Trump,” she wrote.
Rowling’s books have been banned in parts of the world because of their association in some cultures with witchcraft and the occult.