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Content note: This story contains transphobic language.

It's a sad fact of life that your idols don't always live up to your expectations. Case in point: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who wrote one of the kindest, empathetic characters in literature, has come out as patently transphobic. In a tweet, Rowling defended Maya Forstater, a tax researcher who was fired over her own transphobic tweets.

The internet was rightly furious with Rowling.


Here's the very, very gross tweet.

"Dress however you please," Rowling wrote on Twitter. "Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.  Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill"


In her tweet, Rowling aligned herself with TERF talking points.

TERF stands for "trans-excluding radical feminist." TERFs are anatomical essentialists in their transphobia. They insist that biological sex is the only way to determine gender, believe that trans women are not real women, and indeed pose a threat to "real" cisgender women. TERFs routinely target and harass trans people on social media, all under the name of feminism. It's disgusting, really, and now Rowling has aligned herself with their beliefs.


Fan reactions ran the gamut, from heartbroken ...

Rowling and Harry Potter fans experienced different reactions. Many were angry, others declared her canceled, while some fans were heartbroken. "Really upset that JK Rowling, someone who created a magical world where so many felt they belonged, has now fully proven herself to be a TERF," wrote user @lornamusique, summing up the sadness that many fans were feeling.


... to really, really pissed off ...

Writer Kim Kelly sums up the outrage pretty succinctly in the above tweet. Indeed, anyone who spouts TERF nonsense is a jerk and should be canceled as soon as possible. It's just unfortunate that Rowling is one of them.


... to noting the serious irony.

Many folks pointed out that Harry Potter's major themes include loving acceptance, championing differences, and bravery in the face of hatred. It's sadly ironic that Rowling has outed herself as transphobic, given how much her stories focus on love. Harry Potter and Hermione would never!