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J.K. Rowling calls gender transitioning 'a new kind of conversion therapy'

The "Harry Potter" author is back in the spotlight after tweeting that young people are "being shunted towards hormones and surgery."
Author J.K. Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book \"The Casual Vacancy\" at Lincoln Center on Oct. 16, 2012, in New York.
Author J.K. Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book "The Casual Vacancy" at Lincoln Center on Oct. 16, 2012, in New York.Carlo Allegri / Reuters file
/ Source: Reuters

LOS ANGELES - "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling is back in the spotlight after stating on Twitter that young people are being "shunted towards" hormones and surgery that may not be in their best interests, and comparing the measures to "conversion therapy."

"Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalization that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function," Rowling tweeted.

Rowling was responding to a July 4 post by Twitter user @TrinerScot, who called out the author for 'liking' a post by Twitter user @Manaxium that claimed hormone prescriptions were "the new antidepressants."

"Yes they are sometimes necessary and lifesaving, but they should be a last resort - not the first option. Pure laziness for those who would rather medicate than put in the time and effort to heal people's minds," read the post.

The post by @TrinerScot read: "Who had money on JK Rowling pivoting to supporting those who call people who take mental health medication 'lazy'? I take daily medication to function, this sentiment is beyond offensive, it is actively harmful to millions."

In the first of 11 tweets, Rowling began her response to @TrinerScot with: "I've ignored fake tweets attributed to me and RTed widely. I've ignored porn tweeted at children on a thread about their art. I've ignored death and rape threats. I'm not going to ignore this."

"When you lie about what I believe about mental health medication and when you misrepresent the views of a trans woman for whom I feel nothing but admiration and solidarity, you cross a line," Rowling continued.

Rowling goes on to write about her "own mental health challenges," and expressed concern over young people with mental health issues "being shunted towards hormones and surgery when this may not be in their best interests," before tweeting about conversion therapy. Rowling quotes a BBC documentary and a number of studies on the subject.

"None of that may trouble you or disturb your belief in your own righteousness. But if so, I can't pretend I care much about your bad opinion of me," Rowling concludes.

Responding to Rowling's tweet, transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf tweeted, "J.K. Rowling is not a scientist. She is not a doctor. She is not an expert on gender. She is not a supporter of our community.

"She is a billionaire, cisgender, heterosexual, white woman who has decided that she knows what is best for us and our bodies. This is not her fight."

Rowling has been in the news in recent weeks for her views on the trans community, and has faced considerable backlash.

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