Controversial author JK Rowling kicked off the year 2022 with yet another blow to her legacy. A school in Essex, UK has dropped the author’s name from a house for its students. The reason: Rowling’s continued transphobic views.
The Boswells School in Chelmsford, Essex, had initially announced it would name a house for Rowling. This week, however, The Daily Mail reports that Boswells School had replaced Rowling’s name with that of British Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes.
Boswells School had announced it would review the decision to name the house after Rowling last summer, following a deluge of complaints from students and parents. In a newsletter, the school further elaborated on its decision to strike Rowling’s name from the building.
“The Boswells House System embeds a sense of community, friendship and healthy competition amongst both students and staff,” the school declared in its newsletter. “Following numerous requests by students and staff we are reviewing the name of our red house ‘Rowling’ and in light of J.K Rowling’s comments and viewpoints surrounding trans people. Her views on this issue do not align with our school policy and school beliefs – a place where people are free to be.”
Rowling, 56, rose to fame as the creator of the beloved Harry Potter stories. In recent years, she’s earned a reputation as an ardent anti-transgender activist, criticizing gender-neutral rhetoric, arguing against the inclusion of transgender women in women’s restrooms, and endured accusations of reinforcing transgender stereotypes for including a cross-dressing killer in her novel Troubled Blood. Her remarks have gained wide condemnation from the stars of the Harry Potter film series.
Rowling, for her part, denies any anti-transgender bias, insisting that she believes sex, not gender, should be the determining factor for legal rights and protections.