Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has posted a 3600 word essay, responding to criticism she has faced for recent tweets and revealed she is a survivor of sexual assault.
Her comments on Twitter caused uproar and earned responses from actors Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, who star in the movies based on Rowling's novels.
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The controversy began when Rowling responded to an opinion piece containing the phrase "people who menstruate".
She took offence to the wording, and tweeted: "'People who menstruate. I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"
Rowling went on to say: "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erase. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth."
Trans activists have denounced her comments, including UK charity Mermaids.
"To those hurting this evening, please remember that you are valid & an author - even an author you once trusted - cannot change that."
American organisation GLAAD's head of celebrity talent Anthony Ramos said in a statement to Variety: "J.K. Rowling proactively spreads misinformation and has refused conversations with LGBTQ leaders who merely want to have a dialogue and let her know the negative impact that these tweets have."
"This isn't an easy piece to write, for reasons that will shortly become clear, but I know it's time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity," the piece began.
"I forgot the first rule of Twitter - never, ever expect a nuanced conversation - and reacted to what I felt was degrading language about women.
"I spoke up about the importance of sex and have been paying the price ever since."
In the essay, Rowling gives "five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism" and clarifies her arguments, Deadline reports.
She wrote that she is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
"I'm mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who've been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces," Rowling wrote.
"I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I've outlined.
"Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they're most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who've been abused by men," she added.
The full essay is available to read on her website.