Terry Pratchett Discworld
Rhianna Pratchett, a video game writer and daughter of the late fantasy author Terry Pratchett
, has called out those who are claiming her father would have been transphobic.
These claims Rhianna Pratchett is rebuking were made by a number of self-described "gender critical feminists" on Twitter. Gender critical feminists (GCs), also known as trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), believe that sex is immutable and that trans people shouldn't be recognized as the genders with which they identify. Some of these "gender critical" tweets were in response to Terry Pratchett's Good Omens co-author Neil Gaiman
discussing the anti-Semitism tied in with transphobic conspiracy theories.
Some of the tweets claimed that Terry Pratchett would have taken an anti-trans stance rather than siding with Gaiman's views. Finding out about those in the debate who were attempting to posthumously claim her father as one of their own, Rhianna responded, "This is horrifying. My father would most definitely not be a GC if he was still alive. Read. The. Books."
Gaiman added his own comments in response, saying, "Terry was wise and Terry was kind. Terry understood that people were complicated, contradictory and, always people, and that people can and do change. As @rhipratchett says, he would have had no time for this nonsense. (See also: Equal Rites, Monstrous Regiment, Feet of Clay.)"
Many fans of Pratchett's Discworld books have pointed to the character of Cheery Littlebottom, a dwarf who fights to assert her feminine identity in the automatically assigned masculine society of dwarves, as evidence that Pratchett's beliefs would be sympathetic to trans people, amongst other examples of the series taking a more progressive view of gender issues.
A 2000 interview in the Faster Than Life
sci-fi zine directly asked Pratchett about transgender themes in his work, and while the author said he was not intentionally trying to address LGBT issues, he was accepting of the community. Pratchett was quoted as saying, "The people I know who are gay (and one transgendered, I think -- like the dwarfs, I don't ask people what they're not prepared to volunteer) are mostly within SF/fantasy fandom which appears, at least, to be quite amiable about people's sexuality so long as they don't act like a jerk."
Questions of support for or opposition to transgender rights within the sci-fi and fantasy literature community have been a hot topic ever since J.K. Rowling publicly voiced her transphobic beliefs
and aligned herself with the GC movement. Other prominent authors, including Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King, have responded to the Rowling controversy by speaking out against transphobia.