The daughter of late fantasy author Terry Pratchett rushed to the writer’s defense after critics supposedly began attaching the artist to transphobic beliefs. Even Pratchett’s own Twitter handle sprang to life to refute the idea.
The debate over Pratchett, who wrote more than 70 books before his death in 2015, began with a commenter pointing out that the author may have had different views on gender than one of his frequent collaborators, Neil Gaiman, known to many as a writer who has challenged gender norms through his works.
Since you're all wondering pic.twitter.com/CK7jwuoiWF
— Ann Coates (she/her) (@setoacnna) July 30, 2021
Also if you reduce human beings to "terfs" or "TRAs", because it's easier to be hateful about a labelled group rather than a real individual with real experiences and feelings, have a read of this. Be more Terry. pic.twitter.com/Pyqnq2R4Ni
— Karen Thompson (@ClartyAnnie) July 31, 2021
The debate over Pratchett’s work and views was challenged by none other than his daughter, Rhianna, who called the accusations baseless and “horrifying.”
“This is horrifying. My father would most definitely not be a GC if he was still alive. Read. The. Books,” she tweeted.
She went on to accuse ‘gender critical’ activists – who believe gender is biological and immutable – of trying to “recruit” her father’s name to align with their cause.
If you’re desperately trying to recruit the dead to your cause then you should probably have a big think about just what you’re supporting.
— Rhianna Pratchett 💙 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@rhipratchett) July 31, 2021
And you may ask yourself. Oh god, what have I done. pic.twitter.com/5w8TX9XtvH
— Ann Coates (she/her) (@setoacnna) July 31, 2021
Numerous fans stepped forth to get more specific about Pratchett’s history and work, which was directly critical of accepted gender definitions.
I mean pic.twitter.com/lxXbx0nLfX
— Adult Human Tamale (@halford_rosie) July 30, 2021
Pratchett’s daughter also shared tweets from author Richard Cobbett praising her father’s ‘Discworld’ series and its inclusivity.
“One of the many reasons that I’m proud to be a lifelong fan of [the Discworld] series is its compassion and devotion to humanity in all of its forms – and that includes many, many characters willing to take control of their own destinies in a world that wants them to be quiet,” he wrote.
Others also stepped forth to cite specific examples from Pratchett’s books or to use their personal connections to the late author to assure anyone following the debate that he would not be aligned with non-inclusive activists.
I knew Terry, and he’d have held the GCs and everything they stood for in utter contempt. (He was absolutely opposed to bigotry.)
— Charlie Stross (@cstross) July 31, 2021
"He *told* you he was female?"
"She. There are extra pronouns here."
Published 1996. God I miss Terry Pratchett. https://t.co/Fiu9kT1CBn
— momatoes (@momatoes) July 31, 2021
the discworld book monstrous regiment ends with an AFAB character who has lived as a man for decades deciding to introduce himself to his family as a man, but yeah, I'm sure terry pratchett would be all about *checks notes* not letting people choose what bathroom to pee in
— acab|blm|☪️|🏳️🌈|⚧ امنه خان (@jaythenerdkid) July 31, 2021
Terry Pratchett’s official Twitter account also jumped to his defense, tweeting, “They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. Equal Rites #TransRightsAreHumanRights,” the ‘Equal Rites’ bit being a reference to the third novel in his ‘Discworld’ series and a play on the phrase “equal rights.”
Love that Terry Pratchett has interrupted his own eternal slumber to say ‘absolutely fucking not’ to transphobes trying to co-opt his legacy. https://t.co/sWJUUgYDjV
— Max Morgan 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@SpillerOfTea) July 31, 2021
Sometimes, the voice of a person long dead remains more alive and more relevant than that of a thousand still living. pic.twitter.com/RAJYEvtoC3
— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) July 31, 2021
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