Speaking with the podcast A Gay and a Nongay hosted by James Barr and Dan Hudson, Bono shared his love of the Potter series, even revealing that he has a series of Harry Potter-themed tattoos. He also shared his ire over Rowling’s insensitive remarks.
“When the person who writes your favorite series of books about oppressed people decides to start oppressing you, it’s very strange. It doesn’t make any sense,” Bono said. “It’s hard to wrap your head around. On a personal note, it just sucked. Politically, it’s dangerous because I don’t think people realize that she’s just regurgitating the same things that people are saying about us, that have been debunked for 30 years. It’s just wrapped up in a new package with a zillion Twitter followers.”
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Rowling has widespread criticism over a series of anti-transgender remarks on Twitter, as well as a personal essay further explaining her position. For Bono, Rowling’s words demonstrate a fundamental difference between anti-trans forces in the United Kingdom and transphobia in the United States.
“We have different issues,” Bono acknowledged. “Our opponents come in a package that we understand much more: in the religious right. That’s where its always been for LGBT people. We know and understand our opponent. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this idea of white privileged feminists that think somehow transgender women are a threat to their rights, their existence, or whatever insanity they’re saying.”
“You just gotta keep trying to fight it and have people tell their stories so hopefully people can understand what the reality is,” he continued. “They’re trying to address a problem that doesn’t exist, this idea of female spaces. They’re looking at transgender women like their men. They’re looking at transgender men like they’re women. We’re not. I am a man. Transgender women are women. Look at them that way. Listen to our stories. Get to know us. Anybody who’s around me for two seconds will know that I’m a man. There’s nothing female about me.”
Chaz Bono will next appear in the film Reboot Camp.