Even people who say damaging things about marginalized groups in very public forums have friends, you know. And while it was inevitable that someone would come to J.K. Rowling’s defense (again), we probably never could’ve guessed it would be (spins wheel) Eddie Izzard. The gender-fluid comedian, who recently revealed that she’s going by she/her pronouns, spoke with The Telegraph about the controversy surrounding Rowling—whose history of transphobic comments culminated in a blog post in which the Harry Potter author attempted to justify her transphobic opinions by repeating harmful misinformation about gender identity and gender dysphoria, and parroting anti-trans rhetoric disguised as feminist activism.
“I don’t think J.K. Rowling is transphobic,” Izzard says. “I think we need to look at the things she has written about in her blog. Women have been through such hell over history. Trans people have been invisible, too.” Izzard appears to be taking a somewhat diplomatic approach to the issue, adding, “I hate the idea we are fighting between ourselves, but it’s not going to be sorted with the wave of a wand. I don’t have all the answers. If people disagree with me, fine—but why are we going through hell on this?” And while Izzard makes a fair observation about the fighting between groups that should be allies against the systems that oppress both of them, the “going through hell” she speaks of isn’t frivolous or petty. It’s a necessary fight. Clearly asking someone like J.K. Rowling nicely to re-consider her anti-trans stance and have compassion for people who are actively being murdered based on this harmful ideology isn’t working. Seems pretty reasonable to yell at her about it at this point.