An open letter to JK Rowling from a transgender woman
Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.


I certainly don't thank you for your latest book in which I am told (as I have no intention of buying a copy) that a central character is a man who dresses up as a woman in order to abuse women. Apparently, at one point he talks about being "pre-op", a term that would be used for transgender people, not crossdressers.Either way, your key message in the story is that crossdressers or trans people are dangerous people, which in reality, couldn't be further from the truth!We are not a threat to anyone.We just want to live our best lives in peace.

What I do thank you for is for the inspiration that you give me, as every time I see a transphobic message from you, it spurs me on with my mission to reach out to other trans people to let them know that it's OK to be trans and also to educate as many non-trans people as I can to show them that trans people are just ordinary people who want to be safe, loved and happy – just like everyone else.

Happiness and peace can only come from within and I found both 2.5 years ago when I admitted to myself that I am a transgender woman, after living for 48 years as a man and living with gender dysphoria since the age of 3.I only hope that you may one day find the same inner peace and happiness that I have found by finally being able to live my truth and that you will no longer feel the need to cause harm to a group of people who you clearly do not understand.Even though there is a small minority of very noisy anti-trans campaigners who feel the same way as you, thankfully, the vast majority of people in the UK are hugely supportive of trans people and for that, I am extremely grateful.

Love from,

Katie x


This article originally appeared on Cool2bTrans. You can read it here. Katie Neeves is a writer and activist. You can read her full bio here. You can find more from Katie via the links below:

Website: www.cool2btrans.co.uk

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katie-neeves-trans-ambassador-43626814/

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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