Blume clarified that she “wholly supports” the transgender community. Credit: Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for MAKERS
Famed coming-of-age novelist Judy Blume has publicly expressed support of the LGBTQ community(opens in a new tab), in a response to a recent Sunday Times interview(opens in a new tab) that appeared to align her with the anti-trans statements of fellow author J.K. Rowling.
The Sunday Times quoted Blume as saying, “I am behind her 100 percent as I watch from afar.” The story’s headline reads, “The bestselling children’s writer has shaped the minds of millions, just like the Harry Potter author — and she’s every bit as controversial.”
In a statement posted to Blume’s Twitter account(opens in a new tab) on April 16, Blume said the comment was “taken out of context” and that she was merely expressing empathy with those who have been harassed online.
“I wholly support the trans community… I stand with the trans community and vehemently disagree with anyone who does not fully support equality and acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people. Anything to the contrary is total bullshit.”
Blume, known for her best-selling stories about sexuality, puberty, and other topics once seen as “taboo” for young children, is back in the press cycle for the newly released adaptation of her book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The book follows the story of an 11-year-old girl who is navigating the perils of becoming an adult, like growing apart from friends, sex-ed classes, menstruation, and even her own faith.
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Following the story’s publication, some Twitter users came to Blume’s defense, noting that the article’s author, Hadley Freeman, has been criticized for her “gender critical(opens in a new tab)” stances(opens in a new tab) and even previously accused of interviewing literary icons to garner support of anti-trans rhetoric. In February 2022, Freeman profiled The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood for The Guardian(opens in a new tab), questioning whether her anti-cancel culture stance was contradicted by her expression of support for the trans community(opens in a new tab) in response to comments from Rowling.
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) Freeman issued a response to Blume on Monday, tweeting(opens in a new tab), “I don’t normally respond to nonsense like this because it’s absurd. But here are screenshots of Judy Blume’s and my conversation. For the record, my quotes are accurate and not disputed. I did not ask Blume about the criticisms against J.K. Rowling — she brought them up herself.”
In light of the controversy, Blume also posted quotes that reiterated her stance against book-banning and censorship, specifically noting her thoughts on the rise of anti-LGBTQ legislation(opens in a new tab) while speaking at Variety’s Power of Women luncheon in April(opens in a new tab).
Tweet may have been deleted (opens in a new tab) “I would like to end this on a sweet and positive note but the reality is, we are right back where we were in the ’80s except it’s the ’80s on steroids,” Blume said to event attendees. “This time it’s not the moral majority or only the religious right. This time it is coming from our government. Lawmakers, drunk with power, with a need to control everything. Sure it’s still sexuality, but it’s gender, it’s LGBTQ+, it’s racism, it’s history itself that’s under fire.”
Chase joined Mashable’s Social Good team in 2020, covering online stories about digital activism, climate justice, accessibility, and media representation. Her work also touches on how these conversations manifest in politics, popular culture, and fandom. Sometimes she’s very funny.
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