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Pro-trans placards allegedly used to heckle JK Rowling displayed at library

Signs on display at the Glasgow Women's Library, one reads 'Trans folk want peace!'
The pro-trans display at the Glasgow Women's Library

An exhibition at a library in Glasgow that includes pro-trans placards allegedly used by an activist group to heckle JK Rowling has sparked backlash.

The Harry Potter author spoke at the women’s rights FiLiA event in the city last month, which attracted protest from Cabaret Against The Hate Speech.

Activists brandished pro-trans placards which now, allegedly, feature in a display hosted by the Glasgow Women’s Library as part of the venue’s ‘16 Days of Activism’ exhibition.

The inclusion of the boards, which claim that “trans women are women”, “trans people make Glasgow” and “trans rights are women’s rights”, has angered feminists who have called for women to boycott the library.

One critic, posting on X, formerly Twitter, wrote: “I cancelled my membership. I’ve been a member for years but I cannot condone this. It’s scandalous. And we marched for the suffragettes in 2018. I’m shocked, disgusted and downright appalled. Cancel their funding.”

Another tweeted: “The Glasgow Women’s Library is now The Glasgow Trans Library. They’ve lost all sense of being and completely forgotten why they were founded.”

A third person wrote: “It makes me feel a deep disappointment and anger that a women’s library in Glasgow would do this. I love libraries, books, women, and Glasgow and yet here is something I have come to despise. Awful.”

JK Rowling prepared to ‘take the hit’

About 70 activists from Cabaret Against The Hate Speech and the Glasgow Trans Rally had attempted to shutdown the three-day FiLiA conference, which features people from around the world to discuss topics including female genital mutilation.

Protesters heckled attendees as they arrived at the venue, with protesters holding up signs saying “keep terfs out of Glasgow” and “transphobia kills and hurts all women”.

The term “terf” is used to describe people whose views on gender identity are seen as hostile towards transgender people.

JK Rowling, an outspoken critic of the trans movement and who said she would “happily do two years in jail” if it was made a hate crime to call someone by wrong pronouns, has previously faced online abuse from activists for her views.

JK Rowling posing on red carpet
The Harry Potter author has said she wants 'trans people to be safe' - Tolga Akmen/ AFP

Speaking at the conference, Rowling insisted she was prepared to “take the hit” from campaign groups.

“I will always be able to feed my family… I’ve looked around and realised that it has to be someone who can take the hit. And it has to be me. I can afford it,” Rowling said.

She added: “This has never been about trans rights. This is about women’s rights and activists’ demands to dismantle those rights. I have nothing but profound sympathy for trans women who have experienced male violence. I want trans people to be safe. I just don’t want women and girls to be any less safe.”

Glasgow Women’s Library has been approached for comment.

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