Beloved children’s author Judy Blume called “bulls–t” on the Sunday Times on Sunday, saying the British paper took her quotes saying she was “behind J.K. Rowling 100 percent” out of context, sparking a backlash from the trans community.
“I wholly support the trans community,” Blume tweeted, but added: “I can empathize with a writer – or person – who has been harassed online.”
Blume, 85, was interviewed by the Sunday Times ahead of Lionsgate’s release of the film adaptation of her famed young adult novel “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” During the interview, Times reporter Hadley Freeman pointed out that the protagonist of Blume’s book does not have superpowers like those in many other popular YA novels, including the Harry Potter books, which Freeman told Blume she loved.
“And I love her,” Blume said about Rowling. “I am behind her 100 per cent as I watch from afar.”
Freeman went on to write that Blume was “referring to the abuse Rowling has received for speaking up in defence [sp] of women’s sex-based rights, and given that Blume has faced repeated attacks since the 1980s, for her books’ descriptions of adolescent sexuality and puberty, she knows what it’s like to be pilloried as an author.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Blume clarified that her support for Rowling was not out of any sort of lack of support for the trans community.
“I wholly support the trans community,” Blume wrote. “My quote, which was taken out of context, was that I can empathize with a writer — or person — who has been harassed online.”
“I stand with the trans community and vehemently disagree with anyone who does not fully support equality and acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people. Anything to the contrary is total bulls–t,” Blume continued.
To show that she has expressed such support, Blume posted an excerpt from her recent interview with Variety in which she spoke out against recent efforts in Florida and other Republican-controlled states to ban books about LGBT individuals in school libraries.
“Protecting your children means educating them and arming them with knowledge, and reading and supporting what they want to read,” she said. “No child is going to become transgender or gay or lesbian because they read a book. It’s not going to happen. They may say, ‘Oh, this is just like me. This is what I’m feeling and thinking about.’”