JK Rowling praises Allison Bailey, Sonia Appleby, and Keira Bell

JK Rowling praises three women standing up for ‘women’s rights and freedom of speech’ in face of ‘gender identity ideology’ and says history will remember them as heroines

  • Ms Rowling, 56, praised Allison Bailey, Sonia Appleby and Keira Bell
  • Ms Bailey is taking legal action against her employer and LGBT charity Stonewall
  • Sonia Appleby was a whistleblower at at the NHS’s Tavistock clinic
  • Won damages after being shunned for raising concerns about puberty blockers 
  • Keira Bell took legal action against the Tavistock after she ‘detransitioned’  

JK Rowling today hailed three women as ‘heroines’ for standing up for ‘women’s rights and freedom of speech’ in the face of ‘gender identity ideology’. 

Taking another swipe at trans activists, the Harry Potter author, 56, took to Twitter to heap praise Allison Bailey and Sonia Appleby, as well Keira Bell, who took legal action against the NHS’s only gender identity clinic for children after she ‘detransitioned’.

Posting a picture of the three women on Twitter, she said: ‘One day, books will be written looking back at the full impact gender identity ideology had on vulnerable youth, women’s rights and freedom of speech here in the UK, and these women will rightly be seen as heroines.’

Lawyer Ms Bailey, who Ms Rowling previously said is ‘inspirational’, is currently suing LGBTQ+ charity Stonewell and her London chambers over claims she was ‘silenced’ for her views on transgender issues.

She claims she lost work and income due to Garden Court Chambers’ involvement with Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, which she said was ‘exclusive’ and ‘discriminatory’ of her beliefs.

The lesbian lawyer founded the LGB Alliance group which argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and people – and opposes many Stonewall policies.

Social worker Ms Appleby won £20,000 damages last year after being shunned when she raised concerns about the use of puberty blockers at the NHS’s Tavistock clinic.

JK Rowling today hailed three women as ‘heroines’ for standing up for ‘women’s rights and freedom of speech’ in the face of ‘gender identity ideology’. Above: Ms Rowling with Alison Bailey, one of the women she mentioned in her tweet

JK Rowling today hailed three women as ‘heroines’ for standing up for ‘women’s rights and freedom of speech’ in the face of ‘gender identity ideology’. Taking another swipe at trans activists, the Harry Potter author, 56, took to Twitter to heap praise on her friends Allison Bailey and Sonia Appleby, as well as Keira Bell

Ms Rowling has faced a barrage of abuse and even death threats in recent years over her views on the trans debate. 

She has been accused of being transphobic over her insistence that biological sex is real and has repeatedly taken to Twitter to air her views. 

Her latest tweet comes after judges stepped in to kill a final appeal over the  legal ruling allowing children to take puberty blockers without their consent. 

The original High Court case was won by Ms Bell against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service for children.

Hormone blockers pause the physical changes of puberty, such as breast development or growth of facial hair. 

Critics argue they could leave youngsters infertile and have longer-term effects on sexual function and bone density. 

Ms Bell – a woman who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before later ‘detransitioning’ calling the treatment a pathway to sterilisation – then lost when the Court of Appeal overturned the 2020 landmark ruling against the NHS gender clinic.

But judges decided that the decision would not be challenged at the Supreme Court because it did not ‘raise an arguable point of law’.  

Following the Court of Appeal’s decision in September 2021, Ms Bell said she intended to appeal the ruling at the UK’s highest court. But Supreme Court Justices Lord Reed, Lord Sales and Lord Stephens denied Ms Bell permission to bring the case.

Alison Bailey (pictured), who Ms Rowling previously said is ‘inspirational’, has launched a discrimination action against her employer Garden Court Chambers and the charity Stonewall


Sonia Appleby (left) won £20,000 damages last year after being shunned when she raised concerns about the use of puberty blockers at the NHS’s Tavistock clinic. Right: Keira Bell

A spokesman for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. We are proud of our hardworking, caring and thoughtful colleagues in GIDS (gender identity development service). 

‘They and the patients they support will be relieved by the end of this period of uncertainty.’

Last month, Ms Rowling held a self-confessed boozy lunch at the River Cafe in Fulham to support the ‘Respect My Sex’ Campaign. 

Guests included Ms Bailey as well as Processor Kathleen Stock, who resigned from her position at the University of Sussex after being accused of ‘transphobia’.

Also present was author Helen Joyce, who penned the book Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality.  

The co-founder of Sex Matters – which has united with other causes under the slogan ‘Respect my Sex if you want my X’ banner – Maya Forstater was also there.

They were joined by MP Rosie Duffield and veteran activist and campaigner at Get The L Out- Lesbian NOT queer campaign group Lianne Timmermann.

Who are the women who have been hailed as ‘heroines’ by JK Rowling? 

Allison Bailey 

Barrister Ms Bailey, 52, who is a lesbian, founded the LGB Alliance Group in 2019. 

It argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and transgender people. 

Ms Bailey launched a discrimination action against the legal firm she works for, Garden Court Chambers (GCC) and Stonewall. 

She claims to have lost work and income due to GCC’s involvement with Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, which she said was ‘exclusive’ and ‘discriminatory’ of her beliefs.

In a witness statement read at the current tribunal, Ms Bailey detailed incidents involving trans activists, including one where she was present and thought she was ‘about to be assaulted as several activists got really close and surrounded me’.

She has become friends with Harry Potter JK Rowling as a result of her stance.  

Barrister suing LGBTQ+ charity Stonewell and her London chambers over claims she was ‘silenced’ for her views on transgender issues. 

Barrister Ms Bailey, 52, who is a lesbian, founded the LGB Alliance Group in 2019

Sonia Appleby

Ms Appleby was a social worker at the NHS’s only gender clinic for children. 

In September last year, she won £20,000 damages after saying she was shunned when she raised concerns about the use of puberty blockers at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS).

Employment judge Sarah Goodman said after the ruling that Ms Appleby has been labelled ‘hostile’ by bosses after warning that staff had serious concerns about the prescription of puberty blockers to patients. 

Ms Appleby was a social worker and safeguarding lead at the NHS’s only gender clinic for children

The director of GIDS, Dr Polly Carmichael, was said to have told her team that Ms Appleby had ‘an agenda’ and discouraged staff from telling her about safeguarding concerns.

Judge Goodman said the comments made it ‘difficult’ for Ms Appleby to carry out her duties at GIDS as the lead on safeguarding. 

The judge also criticised Ms Appleby’s bosses for recording a complaint on her employment file without any formal investigation after the social worker had warned that GIDS could be in a ‘Jimmy Saville-style situation’. 

Judge Goodman said: ‘The claimant was reaching the end of her hitherto blameless professional career in a senior position.

‘Her explanation that referring to Jimmy Savile was shorthand for being careful that harm was not overlooked and was something she routinely stated in training was rejected without investigation.’

Keira Bell 

Ms Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after ‘detransitioning’. 

She suffered from gender dysphoria as a child and took testosterone, which left her with a deep voice and possibly infertile. 

She also had a double mastectomy and took puberty blockers – but later realised she had ‘gone down the wrong path’.

The legal saga began around 16 months ago with an historic ruling in December 2020.

The High Court ruled that children under 16 with gender dysphoria could only consent to the use of hormone-blocking treatments if they understood the ‘immediate and long-term consequences’.

Keira Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after ‘detransitioning’

The judges said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a child aged 13 or under would be able to consent to the treatment, and that it was ‘doubtful’ that a child of 14 or 15 would understand the consequences.

But the Tavistock and Portman brought an appeal against the ruling in June 2021.

In a judgment in September last year, the Court of Appeal said it was ‘inappropriate’ for the High Court to give the guidance, finding doctors should instead exercise judgment about whether their patients can properly consent

Ms Bell said at the time she was ‘obviously disappointed’ with the ruling, and said the case had ‘shone a light into the dark corners of a medical scandal that is harming children.’

She added: ‘I am surprised and disappointed that the court was not concerned that children as young as 10 have been put on a pathway to sterilisation.’

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