Rowling Support Animal Choice About Stonewall Trial, Support of Gay Friend

In yesterday’s post about Rowling’s tweet in answer to a question about what her “support animal of choice” would be, I wrote at some length about the Ukraine flag and Ukrainian Ironbelly featured in her response. I don’t want to take back anything I said there, but I rush to add that I missed the most important background piece to this tweet, namely, “Why are people in the UK suddenly talking about preferences with respect to support animals?” The answer, not too surprisingly, is pretty much off the radar in the United States but very much part of Rowling’s commitment to support her lesbian friends in their resistance to transgender activists.

Allison Bailey, who was in attendance at Rowling’s epic ‘Ladies Who Lunch’ at the River Cafe last month, is currently suing the Stonewall Foundation for urging her employer to investigate her. The trial, called the Stonewall Tribunal in the press, is generating a lot of coverage in UK media about the contrary agendas of transgender and queer people with lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.

Ms Bailey is, according to her Twitter feed, ‘suing Stonewall Diversity Limited to stop them policing free speech’. She ‘helped to set up a new organisation for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, the LGB Alliance, to provide an alternative to Stonewall. In retaliation, Stonewall had me investigated by my chambers in an attempt to cost me my livelihood’. …

This dispute is ongoing, and some pretty remarkable things emerged from the tribunal this week. Evidence was given by Stonewall’s ‘Head of Trans Inclusion’ Kirrin Medcalf (who had the support of a therapy dog, his mother and another person). Medcalf had some interesting things to say in evidence. 

According to reports on Twitter, Medcalf confirmed in court that Stonewall policy says that even acknowledging or recognising the fact that trans women have male bodies is ‘transphobic’. The corker was, when replying to the question, ‘You define women as anyone including men who say they are women?’ came the answer, ‘Bodies are not inherently male or female. They are just their bodies.’

To the point of this post, as noted above the Tribunal had to be delayed so that “the head of trans inclusion can have his mother and support dog” on hand while being interrogated. From The Daily Mail coverage:

Kirrin Medcalf, 34, the head of trans inclusion at Stonewall, delayed the online hearing on Tuesday after failing to tell the court he required special arrangements to give evidence.

Stonewall’s barrister, Ijeoma Omambala QC told the tribunal that Mr Medcalf should have ‘periodic breaks’ and a ‘support person’ with him, including his dog. 

Ben Cooper QC, representing Ms Bailey, accused Stonewall of ‘blindsiding’ the court after failing to give notice of Mr Medcalf’s ‘extra needs’.

He also said it was ‘not proper’ for such an adjustment at the eleventh-hour, considering other witnesses had their specific requests pre-approved, reports The Telegraph. 

Judge Goodman said she was ‘disappointed’ the attendance of additional people had not been mentioned in advance and paused the tribunal for a few moments so the cameras could be adjusted to include Mr Medcalf’s ‘mother, support person and dog’. 

Whence the tweeted question on Twitter about your support animal of choice and Rowling’s Ukrainian Ironbelly response. Yes, she wanted to show continued support for the Ukraine in its war with the Russian Federation. At least as important, though, she wanted to join in the gentle if pointed mockery of Kirrin Medcalf’s need for a support animal and his mum to testify at the Tribunal.

Thanks to friends in the UK who shared the links above with me to throw some light in my American blindspot.