More than 2,300 North American writers, editors, and publishers—including Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman—have signed an open letter in support of trans and nonbinary people, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The letter follows a similar one released by U.K. and Ireland writers in response to statements by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling that are widely seen as transphobic.
“We believe in the power of words,” the letter says. “We want to do our part to help shape the curve of history toward justice and fairness. To that end, we say: nonbinary people are nonbinary, trans women are women, trans men are men, trans rights are human rights. Your pronouns matter. Youmatter. You are loved.” You can read the letter and the complete list of signatories here.
Rowling has drawn criticism over the past several months for a series of tweets and an essay on her website relating to transgender people. She repeated a widely discredited myth about men presenting as transgender women to gain access to women’s bathrooms and mocked a website for using the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of “women.”
Last month, her new Robert Galbraith novel, Troubled Blood, fanned the flames by featuring a serial killer who tricks his victims into trusting him by dressing as a woman. As Constance Grady put it at Vox.com, “Fears of a bad man in a dress are one of the main justifications for anti-trans legislation across the globe.”
Other authors who signed the letter include Roxane Gay, John Green, N.K. Jemisin, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Angie Thomas.
Marion Winik is a regular Kirkus reviewer and the author of The Big Book of the Dead.