JK Rowling's trans critics blasted by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh

JK Rowling arriving for the opening gala performance of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, at the Palace Theatre in London

JK Rowling has received support from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 12/05/2023

- 22:50

Updated: 26/05/2023

- 09:28

The author of cult-classic black comedy Trainspotting spoke out in defence of JK Rowling

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh has come to the defence of JK Rowling over her feminist views.

Rowling, 57, has repeatedly been labelled transphobic over her views about LGBT+ rights.

Welsh, who released Trainspotting in 1993, claimed the Harry Potter author was simply “trying to protect women’s spaces”.

The 64-year-old also said he admired Rowling’s integrity and believes her feminist stance has been misrepresented as wanting to “destroy trans people”.

Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh takes part in a charity walk down Edinburgh's Royal Mile, to help launch the Hoof It to Hyderabad Challenge for the Scottish Love In Action charity

Irvine Welsh released Trainspotting in 1993


Speaking to The Times, Welsh said: “She's been demonised as some kind of witch who wants to destroy trans people but she just wants women's spaces to be protected.

“There must be some way that we can advance trans rights without attacking women's rights.”

The Edinburgh-born author added: “There's such a massive difference between the majority of trans people and how they represent on social media.

“It's the same with feminists, anarchists, socialists, even fascists - every group has a much more extreme, narcissistic element on social media.”

The author Irvine Welsh talks about his new film, 'Wedding Bells' in the Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh today

Irvine Welsh's book Trainspotting became a cult-classic when Danny Boyle turned it into a hit black comedy film


Rowling has sparked several social media debates about trans rights.

Questioning the phrase “people who menstruate”, the award-winning author tweeted: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the author’s film franchise, slammed Rowling in a separate row.

He previously wrote: “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honoured to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment. Transgender women are women.”

Close up of JK Rowling at a premier JK Rowling has been backed for speaking out on trans rightsPA

But Welsh is currently adapting his recent The Long Knives novel to follow on as the second series of Crime.

The topic of trans rights reared its head once again for Welsh through the niece of protagonist DI Ray Lennox.

Welsh confirmed he consulted trans advisers for both his book and the upcoming series.

He told the broadsheet: “You have to listen to people who know more than yourself.

Daniel Radcliffe arriving for the UK premiere of The Lost City at Cineworld Leicester Square, central London.

Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter in the movie adaptation of JK Rowling's book series, spoke out against the author on trans rights


“There’s too many straight white men giving their views on everything. I’m here to get educated.”

But Welsh is also a fervent supporter of Scottish independence.

Despite a majority of Scots voting against ending its now-316-year-old Union in 2014, Welsh remained committed to the separatist cause.

He welcomed the potential for independence because “at a strike it would get rid of the monarchy, the House of Lords, the aristocracy, English public schools, [and] the City of London”.

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