In Helena Bonham Carter’s recent interview she defended the transphobia of J.K. Rowling. She said: “It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything – that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.”
My response is simple. Yes. Rowling is allowed her opinion. But if that opinion is transphobic then folks like me will stand up for our dignity and rights. Yes. I do respect where people come from and their pain. But I do not respect when people take their pain, weaponise it and attack others with it. Later in the interview, when asked about Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint speaking out against Rowling’s transphobia, Bonham Carter said: “Personally I feel they should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fanbase and their generation.” The phrase for when one generation harms another with its own trauma is intergenerational trauma. I want my legacy to be one of ending the intergenerational trauma which I have been given – and there’s been a lot. I’ve spent years exploring, understanding and doing the best I can to heal my pain. And one of the necessary balms I’ve needed to heal is love – filling myself with love from within. The results have proved transformational!
There is now a greater distance between myself and my pain. My trauma no longer defines me and it doesn’t dictate my behaviour (i.e. usually resulting in defensive or aggressive actions). I am better able to take control of and responsibility for my actions, ensuring I inflict less harm on others. This allows me to contribute more to the sum total of healing. This has yielded so much more happiness for me and a greater energy to do that which I think is important. It has liberated my imagination allowing me to imagine worlds beyond trauma, patriarchy and pain, rather than just imagining yet more ways of traumatising others. Love proves a wonderfully sustaining force and so much more motivating than hate. If hate burns like coal then love is a renewable energy like the flow of the river or the current of the tide.