A bookstore in Australia announced it will no longer stock books written by J.K. Rowling in response to her recent public assaults on the trans and LGBTQ+ communities. Rabble Books & Games in Perth, Western Australia, will not carry the Harry Potter author’s new novel, nor will they stock those written under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith Heath — Heath is also the name of a pioneer in the debunked and harmful practice now known as conversion therapy. Profits from the sale of any Rowling book currently on their shelves or ordered on request will be donated to a local trans support group.
“We’re not going to stock new JK Rowling books and we won’t be keeping Robert Galbraith books (her pseudonym for crime novels) on the shelf anymore,” Rabble Books announced via Instagram.
Rowling’s latest book is entitled Troubled Blood. It is the fifth installment in her “Cormoran Strike” series of detective novels written under the name Robert Galbraith Heath. The plot centers on a cisgender male serial killer who dresses as a woman when stalking his victims. The transphobic trope is one that's long been proliferated in media and is one of the damaging storyliines addressed in Netflix's recent documentary Disclosure.
Part of making their Rabble Books a “safer space” for the community is to not “put books by transphobes on the shelves” of their store. This would include entries in the Harry Potter series of children’s books.
“Though we don’t sell many, we’re going to phase out the Harry Potter books too,” Rabble went on, acknowledging that the books series “means a lot to a lot of people” and offering to order them as they do with any books they don’t regularly stock.
The proceeds from the sale of any Rowling book will be donated to TransFolk of Western Australia, which is a “peer support and information service for all trans and gender diverse people and their loved ones in Western Australia” according to their Instagram (@transfolkofwa).
Rowling has made a series of inflammatory and transphobic remarks that have drawn the ire of the LGBTQ+ community and civil rights activists. She went full TERF in a series of tweets recently, all the while claiming to love trans people.
In December, Rowling tweeted support of fellow transphobe Maya Forstater, who objected when her employment contract with the Center for Global Development was not renewed following a series of hateful transphobic social media posts. Last month, Rowling returned an award given to her last year by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, upset that the group’s president, Kerry Kennedy, had publicly criticized Rowling for her transphobia. Kennedy is the daughter of the organization’s late namesake.
For those who believe Rowling is thumbing her nose at the trans and LGBTQ+ communities, Rabble Books drew attention to the author's psuedonym's origins.
“Just a note about this pseudonym - Robert Galbraith Heath was a psychologist who helped develop conversion therapy. Hard to imagine that’s a coincidence.”