An author who quit JK Rowling’s literary agency in a row over transgender issues claims that the Harry Potter author has “fallen in with the wrong crowd”.
Fox Fisher, a trans activist, suggested that Rowling is “fearful” of trans people.
Fisher was one of four writers who left the Blair Partnership in protest at the agency’s refusal to issue a public statement in support of the trans community, or to put its employees through a transgender training programme.
Rowling has been accused of “hate speech” for posts on social media, including one that stated “biological sex is real”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Fisher said of Rowling: “I think she’s fallen in with the wrong crowd. I think she is very scared, very fearful of things when actually she just needs to spend some time with some transgender people who might also have been her fans.
“I respect all women’s rights and when I talk about women I mean all women, including transgender women. I just think if she opened her eyes and saw that trans women are women, maybe we’d be able to move forward.”
In a statement this week, the Blair Partnership said it had declined to meet the four authors’ demands “to be re-educated to their point of view”.
Fisher said: “It sounds pretty severe that we wanted them to be ‘re-educated’ - I think our words have been changed a little bit. We invited them to have an open and honest conversation with us, to reaffirm their support for transgender authors and employees in a statement, as well as possibly doing training with the organisation All About Trans.”
Fisher insisted: “It was never about denouncing anyone’s views or going against JK Rowling… Of course I’d never be able to change her views. I’d never demand to change her views. All we wanted really was an open conversation.”
Baroness Nicholson, the Tory peer, was last night stripped from her position with the Booker Prize Foundation after tweeting her views on trans issues and same-sex marriage.
She was honorary vice-president of the foundation and also co-founded the Lumos charity with JK Rowling.
Following a meeting by the foundation’s trustees yesterday, the Booker Prize Foundation issued a statement which said: "We deplore racism, homophobia and transphobia and do not discriminate on any ground."
Baroness Nicholson's honorary title "should with immediate effect, cease to end", they added.
Authors including Marlon James, who won the Booker Prize in 2015 with A Brief History of Seven Killings, called for her removal in the wake of her remarks.
Baroness Nicholson told The Guardian that she had voted against same-sex marriage in 2013 but rejected accusations of homophobia.
Lumos, the children’s charity, said she had not played any part in Lumos since 2010.