Did Judy Blume really say she 100% supported transphobe JK Rowling?

Judy Blume is 85 years old. She’s generally considered to be a literary icon and very open-minded and liberal-minded. She writes kids’ books and young-adult books, and she’s currently promoting the film adaptation of her iconic book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. She’s been doing a lot of press in America and Britain, which is why she sat down with the Times of London’s Hadley Freeman. A lot of these British outlets love to ask everyone about Britain’s two favorite “controversies” – the Sussexes or JK Rowling. Blume got the Rowling question and her answer was, within the Times piece, disappointing:

I tell Blume how strangely thrilling it is to see a movie about children where none of them are in possession of magical powers. “Yes, children are so used to superheroes now, aren’t they?” she says. Even in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books the kids are magic, and I love those, I say.

“And I love her,” Blume immediately interjects. “I am behind her 100 per cent as I watch from afar.” Blume is referring to the abuse Rowling has received for speaking up in defence 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.

Has she reached out to Rowling? “No, no. I met her very early on in her Harry Potter career, and she said to me, ‘Oh, my sister and I used to read all your books,’ and she talked about Deenie. I think once or twice we sent each other little notes. But I haven’t been in touch with her during this tough time. Probably I should.”

[From The Times]

As many have pointed out, unless you’ve been paying attention online for years, you might believe that Rowling is somehow a victim… of wokeness run amok, or some such nonsense. The truth is, Rowling is a transphobic bigot who uses her wealth, power and legal team to threaten, bully, target and harass trans people and their allies. Thankfully, we don’t have to cancel Judy Blume – it’s more than possible that Freeman removed certain context or even willfully misquoted Blume, because Blume posted a statement and she also spoke to Variety recently, where she got very specific about her allyship and what she thinks of governments banning books about trans rights.

“There’s a little picture book I love [by Jessica Love] called ‘Julián Is a Mermaid,’” Blume added. “He’s a little guy, he likes to dress up in fancy clothes, and he has a wonderful grandmother who has all kinds of beads and feathers. She’s supportive of him. If you go back to the ’80s, it was ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ [by Lesléa Newman]. That picture book was banned everywhere. Well, there’s a lot of kids who have two mommies or two daddies, and that book is important! Today, they’re considered pornographic by some legislatures.”

“This is the real danger. That a governor can appoint someone to the legislature who’s thinking this way because he’s thinking this way, and getting laws about this,” she said. “We should have laws on the other side! That’s why organizations that work to protect the freedom to read widely and freely are so important.”

“I discovered ‘the little organization that could,’” Blume continued, referencing the National Coalition Against Censorship, which is the nonprofit she’s chosen to highlight as a Power of Women honoree. “NCAC is right there on the front lines. If a teacher, librarian, parent or student needs help as books are being challenged in their classrooms, NCAC is on the other end of the phone to help.”

Blume went on to say, “What are you protecting your children from? Protecting your children means educating them and arming them with knowledge, and reading and supporting what they want to read. 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.’”

“Or, ‘I’m interested in this because I have friends who may be gay, bi, lesbian.’ They want to know!” Blume concluded. “I just read a book that was wonderfully enlightening to me. It’s called ‘Gender Queer’ [a memoir by Maia Kobabe]. It’s probably the No. 1 banned book in America right now. And I thought, ‘This young person is telling me how they came to be what they are today.’ And I learned a lot, and became even more empathetic. That’s what books are all about.”‘

[From Variety]

Yeah. I believe this version of Judy Blume – the open-minded ally and book-lover, the person who wants kids to be able to read every book they come across to broaden their minds and make them more empathetic people.

Here’s Blume’s statement – it’s as I suspected, she has sympathy for Rowling author-to-author, but Blume has no time for transphobic bullsh-t.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

21 Responses to “Did Judy Blume really say she 100% supported transphobe JK Rowling?”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Yeah. People better not be coming for Judy Blume. I will not stand for it.

  2. Bookie says:

    I love you, Judy Blume!

  3. OldLady says:

    Sadly, Hadley Freemen has views I consider problematic around the trans question. I used to follow her on Twitter and enjoyed her writing but she has expressed a lot of GC views and I have therefore disengaged from her content for a while now.

    I was not at all surprised when I saw that she was the author of a piece that might have been massaged to ally with JKR.

    • ML says:

      Yes, Hadley Freeman used to work at the Guardian, which she has since left for Rupert Murdoch’s The Times. An old article of hers: https://amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jun/26/people-have-told-me-i-am-on-the-wrong-side-of-history-but-i-still-want-to-be-their-friend
      She has a history if being a terf, and I believe she would have strategically written her Times article to support her own views and agenda as opposed to reporting what Judy Blume said and meant. I’ve also stopped following HF.

    • Carole says:

      Me too, I used to really like Hadley Freeman when she wrote for the Guardian. So disappointing and bizarre.

      • LizzieB says:

        I used to be a huge fan of her’s and now Hadley’s made anti-transness her entire thing and it’s such a shame. She tried to goad Margaret Atwood into saying she was gender critical and Atwood called her on it and said it was uncomfortable and not going to work. Hadley absolutely would take things out of context to try to use it – I suspect they spoke about the Salman Rushdie attack and the death threats JK faced and that’s where these quotes came from.

    • Wilma says:

      Hadley Freeman constantly puts herself and her opinions in her articles. Trans issues are one of those issues she does this with, Woody Allen is another one of her crusades. I’m happy she left the Guardian, though there are other writers who do the same. I really don’t get how people can do this to such a vulnerable group of people.

  4. Jais says:

    I just don’t feel sympathy for JK Rowling or any tough times she’s going through. She’s pretty publicly vocal about her anti-trans beliefs so she’s going to get pretty public backlash from people who disagree. And? She also seems to get a lot of public support from people who agree with her. I feel sympathy for trans kids and trans adults as they navigate through a dangerous world. My sympathy is for them. Like I wish JK healing and light in a very bless her heart type way. Maybe then she could in turn consider how her words and actions affect those who are more vulnerable than her.

  5. C-Shell says:

    I love Judy Blume and was so disappointed at the take published in the Times, so I was vastly relieved to see her statement and the Variety interview. The discomfort I still feel about her empathy for JKR comes from the fact that JKR richly deserves every bit of dragging she gets — she has a huge, influential platform that she uses/abuses to spout her bigotry and transphobia, and retaliates with her legal team against those who criticize her. I’m sure it’s painful to be on the receiving end of online criticism, but she’s earned it. She SEEKS it. She could have chosen NOT to use her platform in this way.

  6. UnstrungPearl says:

    Hadley Freeman was once a very entertaining writer, but has been going downhill for years now. Look up her defence article of Woody Allen. She ends it saying that bc Woody and Soon-Yi are still married they must be happy, and definitely never did anything wrong. It’s awful, and totally ignores all the reasons women stay in bad marriages.
    Her transphobia is well known, she tried this same trick on Margaret Atwell. Spent half the interview trying to get her to be transphobic, got very pushy when MA wouldn’t give in.
    I really hope celebs think twice before agreeing to talk to her!

    • kirk says:

      Thanks for notice on Hadley Freeman’s ‘evolution.’ When I first started hearing about Woody Allen, I didn’t know what to think. After reading Catch & Kill and listening to Ronan Farrow on a podcast, I was convinced Allen’s a predator. Recently read a dated article about Allen having threesomes with teenagers, some of whom probably were his ‘Manhattan’ muses. Ugh.

  7. UnstrungPearl says:

    Atwood not Atwell! Ffs

  8. FHMom says:

    Judy Blume is 85 years old. She can say what she wants. Her record on social issues speaks for itself. People can draw whatever conclusions they wish.

  9. C says:

    I’m glad she supports trans rights but to refer to her statement: Rowling was not harassed. She deserved and deserves being called out exactly the way she has been.

  10. Nic919 says:

    Freedman tried to do the same thing with Margaret Atwood and so the chances this quote is massively twisted and out of context are quite high.

    Everything else Judy Blume has said or does has been pro trans and so the story should be why Freedman is deceptively pushing her terf agenda in the Times.

  11. AnneL says:

    I think at this point Judy’s Blume record as a writer and her words and stances over the years speak for themselves. She expressed some (albeit undeserved) sympathy for a fellow writer because she’s a nice person. I doubt she even knows the extent of Rowling’s bizarre and public hatred of trans people. Judy deserves the benefit of the doubt here.

    A I am looking forward to renting “AYTGIMM” when it becomes available for streaming.

  12. Runaway says:

    I’m so glad she clarified that because Are you there God was legit the book that started my love of reading, and spending after school and weekends in the library
    And I am very much that kid the Judy was describing, i found books there that made me feel like I wasn’t crazy and weird for the thoughts and feelings I had. My mom used to find those library books in my bag, ask me about them in a way where you could tell she was afraid of the answers lol
    I understood myself so much better because of reading. I read to understand at 14, I accepted by 16, and I came out loud and proud by 19.
    I’ll be 40 this summer!
    Fuck ya Judy Blume and Fuck right off JK!!!

    • Bee says:

      Happy (early) Birthday!!! I was a huge Judy Blume fan too. I’m so relieved to hear she’s not a TERF! Shame on Hadley Freeman. Shame!

  13. Alex.S says:

    The English press is desperate to find an writer who will support Rowling because her fellow writers have openly called her out and voiced support for Trans Rights. Not surprised they resorted to misquoting Blume. Because I am pretty sure among her peers in the writing community, shes an pariah.

  14. AllBlackEverything says:

    Good for Judy. JK has done nothing wrong but stand up for women. Glad to know as a Black woman, there are SOME allies left.

  15. bisynaptic says:

    I ❤️ Judy Blume.