Hi Cliff! Thanks for reading and for giving such a detailed, eloquently-expressed response.
Two main points:
Firstly: JKR seems to be referring to some trans activists who take a rather extreme view and insist that trans women must be accepted as females. A lot of trans women, however, are not claiming to be female. They distinguish between their sex and their gender (a role or set of behaviours associated with being a woman). A trans woman may ask you to accept her as a woman, without asking you to accept her as a female. Yes, the dictionary definition of woman may be “an adult human female,” but the usage of the term has now changed, so that sex and gender can be dealt with as separate (though related) issues.
Secondly, I completely agree on the importance of freedom.
“In the meantime, I do not want to be told what to think: specifically, that I MUST consider a trans female to be a female. It should be enough that I support their right and their freedom. I should be allowed to still view them as a male who feels more comfortable to pretend to be a female, due to a medical condition.”
Yes. Absolutely. If anyone wants to view trans women in that way, that should be up to them. Indeed, I would go further. If people want to view trans women as mentally deranged weirdos, or even perverts, they should be entitled to hold and express those opinions. I completely support freedom of speech. The important thing, as you say, is that we all support any trans woman’s right to live her life as she chooses to live it.
Thanks ever so much for your wonderfully thoughtful response. Have a great day!