In december 2019 kreeg J.K. Rowling de Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award. Kerry Kennedy, de president van Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights schreef begin augustus over de in haar ogen transfobe tweets van Rowling.

I have spoken with J.K. Rowling to express my profound disappointment that she has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community—one that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm. Black trans women and trans youth in particular are targeted.

Kennedy concludeert:

J.K. Rowling’s attacks upon the transgender community are inconsistent with the fundamental beliefs and values of RFK Human Rights and represent a repudiation of my father’s vision.

Deze publieke aanval leidde ertoe dat Rowling haar Award terugstuurt. In een verklaring op haar website schrijft ze:

Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, recently felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views on RFKHR’s website. The statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people. As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community.
In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year. I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience.

Rowling schreef al eerder dat de verruiming van rechten van transvrouwen een gevaar vormt voor kwetsbare vrouwen. De kern van het verschil van inzicht zit in de vraag of je je pas echt een vrouw kunt noemen als je als vrouw geboren bent. Rowling kwam eerder dit jaar onder vuur te liggen nadat ze een opiniestuk met de titel ‘Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate’ ridiculiseerde op Twitter:

‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?