A gender-critical thread on Twitter recently sparked some heated debate and strong opposition to a claim made on the thread that insinuated that deceased author Sir Terry Pratchett, most famous for his book series Discworld, was transphobic. The insinuation, however, received virtually immediate responses from fans and even his daughter that this was not the case and would not be the case if he was still alive. In fact, by contrast, he was a champion of gender identity and equality.
According to United Kingdom-based website, Pink News, the outlandish claims arose completely out of speculation regarding the partnership that Terry Pratchett and his co-author Neil Gaiman had. They explained that Gaiman was known for his trans-inclusive beliefs. Because of this the gender-critical community took this as an opportunity to say that he injected his viewpoints into Terry Pratchett’s books and that Terry Pratchett did share the same opinions as Gaiman.
Sir Terry Pratchett’s daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, tweeted, “This is horrifying my father would most definitely not be a GC if he was still alive. Read. The. Books,” when she became aware of the misconceptions circulating about the beloved author. She went on to further support her father and the fact that her father was clearly not transphobic by retweeting a quote from an author who was a fan of Terry Pratchett’s work. The author whom she re-tweeted, Richard Cobbett, spoke about how Pratchett was a person who, above all, was devoted to humanity.
Given that Terry Pratchett can no longer speak for himself, fans were also outraged and came to the author’s defense. CanaDutchian emphasized his support for the dearly departed author when he tweeted, “He was ahead of his time. Absolutely fighting inequality everywhere. Did they forget the Dwarves? Cheery Littlebottom likely would have some choice words for the GC movement.” Cheery Littlebottom, a character who lived within the Discworld universe, was a bearded dwarf that identified as a woman. The character herself is a clear indication of Terry Pratchett’s unwavering support of the transgender community.
Another fan, Daniel O’Brien pointed out, “Terry Pratchett was a fierce defender of individuals staying true to themselves regardless of the roles the world had in mind for them. His book Equal Rites shows how gender roles are by & large bullshit & says you should make your life w/ the gifts you have no matter your sex.” Even posthumously, it is overtly clear where Terry Pratchett’s beliefs had lain.
For those unaware of Terry Pratchett’s work and looking to discover why so many fans rose in unanimous support of him they can embark on the literary journey that is Discworld. It is a series that spans a total of forty-one books. The series is deeply rooted in fantasy and takes place solely on a planet that is situated on the backs of four elephants. Since its initial book The Colour of Magic was released in 1983 fans have repeatedly dived into the vast, intricate, and endearing fantastical world. Even now, there is a well-established fan-wiki.
Niel Gaiman has also been quite busy since the death of Terry Pratchett. Gaiman is the creator of the series, Good Omens, which airs on Amazon Prime and was just recently renewed for a second season. This came as exciting news for fans who were still upset over the cancellation of another Gaiman series, the much-loved but rather short-lived American Gods.