Jonathan Van Ness Says J.K Rowling’s Gender "Fears" Are "Rooted in White Supremacy"

During his visit to Watch What Happens Live, Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness addressed J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets, calling her statements "transphobic" and "problematic."

By emily belfiore Jun 24, 2020 12:39 PMTags
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Jonathan Van Ness is weighing in.

During his virtual visit to Watch What Happens Live, the Queer Eye star shared his opinions on J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets, calling her statements, in which she shared her disapproval of the phrase "people who menstruate," "transphobic" and "problematic."

"J.K. Rowling's tweets were, and are, problematic," he told host Andy Cohen. "J.K. Rowling has come out, like, many times siding on a side of oppressing a trans person and siding with the idea of, you know, oppressing trans folks and basically just questioning the validity of trans people's gender identities."

"Her idea of gender and her fears around the idea of gender are really rooted in white supremacy and they have been for a really long time," Van Ness continued. "And, because her feminism is not intersectional, meaning that if you're a trans woman, she does not believe you deserve the same rights and protections that a cisgender woman does."

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He added, "So, like, she's really hung up on the biology and, you know, really hung up on the binary of biology, which also really omits people who are intersex and we know—I mean the biology of sex isn't binary. There are intersex folks."

The Over The Top author then took a moment to discuss how he believes Rowling's comments were harmful to the Black trans community.

"The Black Lives Matter movement is so important and is rightly taking this moment to really draw people's attention, but also Black trans people are extra targeted and extra marginalized," Van Ness explained. "And to take this time from, you know, a platform like J.K. Rowling's to spread this kind of transphobic vitriol and sew this kind of discord, I just think it's so disappointing." 

Concluding his thought, Van Ness also encouraged viewers to donate, adding, "I think in the meantime, it's about donating to the Okra Project; donating to organizations that are doing the work on the ground to help people who really need it."  

Frazer Harrison for Getty Images. Karwai Tang for Getty Images

Earlier this month, the Getting Curious podcast host voiced his upset over Rowling's tweets on social media. "Trans women are women," he tweeted in response to the Harry Potter author. "Trans Black people & trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They're dying. We're fighting for Black people & trans people and you're doing this?"

In another tweet aimed at Rowling, he quipped, "We just hate transphobia lady."

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.) 

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