Now JK Rowling is pissed about black, brown and trans stripes on the Progress Pride flag

Author JK Rowling
JK Rowling (Photo: Shutterstock)

Author JK Rowling is probably now as well-known for her gender-critical views as she is for creating Harry Potter. But still, one of her retweets over the weekend has shocked many.

Rowling retweeted a tweet by a Twitter user by the name of Rudy (@theneonrequiem).

It featured an image of one of the more recent reworkings of the Pride flag. It features brown and black stripes on the original rainbow flag, as well as the colors of the trans flag. The brown, black and trans flag colors are faded and partly erased. A slogan across the image says: “Get your sh*t off our flag”.

In an accompanying caption, Rudy, a person of color, says, “‘Queer’ was never joyous. It wasn’t joyous when my fellow gay men were being beaten to death by homophobes screaming the word at them. And it isn’t joyous now when it’s used by men who beat women up and the corporations who support them.”

On his Twitter bio, Rudy says he is an “ambassador” for the right-ring Gays Against Groomers organization. On its own bio, the group describes itself as, “A 501(c)4 organization of gays against the sexualization, indoctrination and medicalization of children under the guise of “LGBTQIA+”

GAG campaigns against “Drag and pride events involving children”, and gender-affirming care for trans youth, among other things.

JK Rowling retweets criticism of pride flag

JK Rowling posted several other tweets and retweets over the weekend concerning a ‘Let Women Speak’ rally in Auckland, New Zealand.

The event featured British anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker (real name Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull). However, Parker was forced to abandon her speech after someone from a counter-protest threw tomato juice over her. Videos from the event also appear to show some incidents of violence between the rival groups.

Rowling described the scenes as “repellent” and called the counter-protestors a “mob”.

JK Rowling and trans rights

Rowling has been making her views on gender and trans rights known for several years. In 2020, she said trans activism was “erasing the concept of sex” She wrote a lengthy essay to explain her “deep concerns about the effect the trans rights movement”. She also promoted an online store that sells merchandise bearing anti-trans phrases.

More recently, she has criticized legislation in Scotland that makes it easier for trans people to self-identify their gender.

Despite this, many still expressed surprise at Rowling’s latest retweet.

The history of the Pride flag

San Francisco-based artist Gilbert Baker created the original Pride flag in 1978. It featured a rainbow to represent everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Flags for other minority groups have appeared since, as well as adaptations of the original rainbow flag.

Creators of adaptations have tended to stress their new flags are an addition to the original, not a replacement.

In 2021, New York’s Stonewall Inn held an exhibition of the various different Pride flags. Charley Beal, president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, told Queerty’s sister site, GayCities at the time, there was space for all the flags.

“As president of the Gilbert Baker Foundation, I am often asked ‘Which pride flag should I fly?’. My response is ‘Fly the flag that speaks to your soul. There is room in the sky for all of them.’

“At the Gilbert Baker Foundation, we are proud that all of these new LGBTQ community pride flags were born of the Rainbow Flag. It is the mother of them all.”