JK Rowling has said that she has received “enough death threats to paper my house” after trans activists staged a protest outside her home and revealed her address online.
The Harry Potter author, who has regularly spoken out about her concerns that making it easier to legally change gender would pose a risk to the safety of biological women, accused three actors of attempting to intimidate her and deliberately staging pictures outside her property, which showed her Edinburgh address.
On Monday, Downing Street condemned the targeting of the 56-year-old, while Police Scotland confirmed it was investigating the protest, which was staged on Friday. Earlier this year, Ms Rowling revealed that she had received a message which said: "I wish you a very nice pipe bomb in mailbox."
The three actors responsible for the protest, two drag artists with the stage names Richard Energy and Holly Stars, and an actress Georgia Frost, are based in England but had been in Edinburgh to perform in a "drag murder mystery" stage show.
They deleted their social media accounts on Monday after Ms Rowling publicly accused them of “doxxing” her, a term which means maliciously revealing private information about someone on the internet.
An image posted by one of the activists showed them holding up pro-trans placards, with the street number of her home and its name only partially obscured, clearly in the background.
Left to right, Richard Energy, Georgia Frost and Holly Stars protest outside JK Rowling's Edinburgh home
Ms Rowling claimed that the actors had positioned themselves carefully “to ensure that our address was visible” in an attempt to “intimidate me out of speaking up for women’s sex-based rights”.
“They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out,” she added.
“Perhaps – and I’m just throwing this out there – the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us."
The UK Government has ditched plans to allow transgender people legally change their own gender in England and Wales without a medical diagnosis. However, the Scottish Government is pushing ahead with wide-ranging and highly controversial reforms.
These include allowing people to change their own gender by “self-declaration”, which critics claim would open up women’s spaces – such as changing rooms and refuges – to anybody who claims to be a woman.
Last Friday, my family’s address was posted on Twitter by three activist actors who took pictures of themselves in front of our house, carefully positioning themselves to ensure that our address was visible. 1/8
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 22, 2021
One of the activists who took part in the protest, Ms Frost, has had several BBC roles over recent years – including an appearance on Casualty, according to her online curriculum vitae.
Richard Energy, who describes himself as a “drag king”, is scheduled to appear in an “all drag” production of Dick Whittington this Christmas, in London’s West End.
The other protester, Ms Stars, is the writer of the play Death Drop, the “drag murder mystery”. It concluded a brief run at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh on Saturday, the day after they staged a protest at Ms Rowling’s home.
The three placards read “trans liberation now”, “don’t be a cissy” and “trans rights are human rights”.
Stars, who also runs a cabaret night in Soho, complained earlier this month that she had been subjected to death threats while a student in her home town of Crewe.
She returned to the town this month in what she claimed was an attempt to “confront her past”. The stunt involved holding up a sign which said "f— the Tories" outside the office of Kieran Mullan, the local Conservative MP.
She was invited to speak to children at her former school, after claiming she had been bullied for "being queer" there.
Ms Rowling has strongly denied being transphobic. She was targeted by trans activists last year after she mocked an article which referred to “people who menstruate” rather than women.
‘Campaigns of intimidation’
She later said she had chosen to speak out on gender issues in part due to her own experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault, leaving her with particular concerns around "single-sex spaces”.
She said on Monday that she had been “appalled” at attacks on women, such as Joanna Cherry and Rosie Duffield, who are both MPs; Julie Bindel, the writer; and Kathleen Stock, the academic, who have expressed concerns about trans ideology.
They had been subjected to “campaigns of intimidation which range from being hounded on social media, the targeting of their employers, all the way up to doxxing and direct threats of violence, including rape”, Ms Rowling said.
Asked about the protests outside Ms Rowling’s home, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: "I don’t think any individual should be targeted in that way.
"We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that people are able to share their views, as long as it is done in that fashion."
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "We are aware of this incident and police enquiries are ongoing.”