This weekend, famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted a snide, transphobic response to a headline on the nonprofit global development website Devex. The Devex headline used the phrase “people who menstruate,” which was an attempt to be more inclusive of transgender people, but Rowling wasn’t a fan of that word choice.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
Rowling then doubled down on her thoughts, sparking swift outrage, especially since this wasn’t the first time the author had expressed sentiments against transgender people. In 2019, she supported a researcher named Maya Forstater, who was fired from her job after Forstater’s employer discovered some of her anti-trans campaigns online.
The media advocacy organization GLAAD released a statement, which read, in part, “JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people. We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets.”
Seattle cafe Friday Afternoon Tea responded as well. On Saturday, the self-described “queer nerd” tea shop in Wallingford — which has a number of items that reference pop culture and literature touchstones available for takeout and online retail — promised to donate 100 percent of all Hogwarts-inspired tea sales this month to the Nina Pop and Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Funds.
100% of all Hogwarts-inspired tea sales are going to the Nina Pop and Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Funds this month. Because fuck TERFs, tea is love, Black Lives Matter and trans people are goddamn valid. Fuck.— Friday Afternoon Tea (@FridayTea) June 7, 2020
The two funds were launched by a grassroots organization called The Okra Project that addresses food insecurity in the black trangender community, and were named after two recent victims of racist and gender violence. McDade was shot and killed by Tallahassee police last month.
Friday Afternoon Tea owner Friday Elliott chose those two funds in response to Rowling’s recent statement because of their dedication to addressing mental health and doing grassroots work in the black transgender communities, particularly when it comes to food justice.
“And hopefully it’ll annoy the hell out of [Rowling],” Elliott tells Eater Seattle. “I’m usually a sunshine and hugs kind of person, but sometimes it’s okay to spitefully drink tea and yell on the internet.”