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Updated on Jun 11, 2020. Posted on Jun 8, 2020

Katie Leung Responded To J.K. Rowling's "Anti-Trans" Comments And Criticism Of Cho Chang In The Best Way

"So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang?"

Author J.K. Rowling sparked controversy on Saturday after posting a series of tweets which many of her followers argued were anti-trans.

Dia Dipasupil / Getty Images

Sharing a Devex article about menstrual health to her 15 million followers, Rowling took issue with the phrase "people who menstruate", sarcastically implying that the author should have just used the word "women".

‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA

"I know and love trans people," she later tweeted, "but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives."

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.

Rowling received immediate backlash, with many arguing that there are plenty of women who don't menstruate — including menopausal women, women who have had their uteruses removed, and trans women.

@jk_rowling What happens when women enter menopause? What about women who had hysterectomies? Women who don't menstruate because of hormonal issues? Are they not women? Nothing you say stops trans women from being women.

And many others pointed out that no one was trying to erase the concept of sex, but rather argue that gender is fluid.

@jk_rowling Literally NO ONE said the concept of sex or womxn is erased. The only thing erased here is YOU erasing the legitimacy of trans folks. Please reconsider where you stand here, for trans folks and for so many who used to idolize you.

@jk_rowling You’re a smart person. How do you not yet understand the difference between sex and gender? The only way I can possibly explain your ignorance at this point is willfulness. It’s incredibly disappointing.

Meanwhile, LGBTQ organisation GLAAD accused Rowling of "targeting trans people", and responded by encouraging their followers to support organisations that help Black trans people.

JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.

However, the tweets also brought back up a years-long debate over representation for people of colour and the LGBTQ community in Rowling's Harry Potter series.

is it possible that queer representation is not in fact a great passion of hers after all

jk rowling is blatantly transphobic, based goblins on anti-semitic tropes, named the only east asian character “cho chang,” used werewolves as an aids analogy but made most of them evil, portrayed liberating indentured servants (house elves) as radical and y’all still stan? lmao

y’all really didn’t know JK Rowling was problematic when she only had one minority included in her entire 4,224 page book series and it was an asian girl named Cho Chang

The discussion was so widespread that "Cho Chang" was trending on Twitter, and eventually Katie Leung — who played Cho in the movies — decided to weigh in on the debate.

John Phillips / Getty Images

"So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang?" Katie began a thread on Twitter. "Okay, here goes..."

So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes...(thread)

But when fans clicked through, the thread was simply a series of links to donate to organisations in support of Black trans women.

The replies to her thread were full of applause GIFs, love, and declarations that Katie is the queen.

And another actor to have her say was Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in the first ever stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Justin Tallis / Getty Images

"Dear Jo," she wrote, before simply listing several notable trans women.

1. Dear Jo - Marsha P. Johnson. Sylvia Rivera. Indya Moore. Angelica Ross. Tamara Adrián. Rebecca Root. Isis King. Laverne Cox. Caitlyn Jenner. Lily and Lana Wachowski. Trace Lysette. Andreja Pejic. Tracey Norman. Janet Mock. APRIL ASHLEY... etc, etc, Wikipedia..

"As I honour mine, and the trans friends in my life, I'll defer to their lived experiences, not their erasure," she said in a follow-up tweet. "There is magic in listening."

2. As I honour mine, and the trans friends in my life. I’ll defer to THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCES, not their erasure. And these are just the WOMEN! There is Magic in listening. This 🌍 has stories for millennia. I know You Know All this...with love. Nx #TransRightsAreHumanRights

Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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