Tom Daley no longer a Harry Potter fan following JK Rowling's trans comments
'She has never lived that experience'
Daley said he used to "love JK Rowling’s books" - even naming the Philosopher's Stone as his favourite book when appearing on Desert Island Discs back in 2018 - but says that he has since been left with "a bit of [bad taste]" following the author's continued stance on trans rights.
Rowling's comments on the transgender community
Rowling, 56, has been accused of being a 'terf' in recent years following a number of comments on the subject. In one instance, she took umbrage with a covid health piece for not specifically gendering "people who menstruate" as biological women.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Whilst she has maintained her stance ever since, albeit insisting that she "know[s] and love[s] trans people", the 28-year-old British diver confessed that while she had displayed support for his own struggles regarding sexuality in the past, he feels her comments on the transgender experience when she hasn't lived it are inappropriate.
“What she said about trans people...", said Daley in a recent interview with the Times, "It’s one of the hardest things to understand, how trans people think and feel, because she has never lived that experience", the same way white people trying to understand the Black experience will never be able to understand that.”
Daley's history with the Potter author
Rowling was one of many public figures who stood up for the four-time Olympic medallist after evangelical Christians on Twitter claimed he performed poorly at the 2016 Olympics because he was gay.
However, while Rowling insists she has no problem in accepting and celebrating anyone's sexuality and right to live how they choose, she feels suggesting sex as anything other than biological fact means "the lived reality of women globally is erased".
Daley went on to add that were he to discuss LGBTQ+ matters with her in person, he would hope to have "a conversation rather than a shouting match", stating that he doesn't like confrontation.
"I always try to listen first and try to understand, and then try to share my point of view and my opinions and show how things [said] can hurt other people, to try to get the best outcome.”
Meanwhile, Tom Daley's husband, Dustin Lance Black (also a writer for film and television) has been more outspoken and forthright in his cirticms of Rowling in the past, having accused her writing of "jammed full of ‘borrowed’ old tropes. It was just that she ‘borrowed’ tales many enjoyed revisiting.
“Her new well: long disproven, discriminatory old tropes and lies sown by bigots. She’s a pretender. A thief. A fraud. And likely always has been.”, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
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