Her final year at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School saw Georgia Frost crowned winner of the coveted Alan Bates Award at a glittering ceremony in London’s Covent Garden.
The accolade, for the country’s most promising drama student, was presented by Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the stage sequel to the Potter novels, in the West End and Broadway.
Emma Watson immortalized her role on screen as Miss Frost. Miss Frost was Miss Frost’s only female competitor in 2017’s final.
‘As a woman it’s hard for us,’ she said as she collected her gong. ‘We are on our way to equality but we need to keep pushing and having this network, and having this support, will be the thing that will lift me up and help me go far.’
The irony has not diminished four years later. This is Georgia Frost, who appeared this week in the same picture outside JK Rowling’s Edinburgh house.
Her final year at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School saw Georgia Frost (pictured) crowned winner of the coveted Alan Bates Award at a glittering ceremony in London’s Covent Garden
Frost was standing next to fellow ‘trans activists’, ‘drag king’ Richard Energy (real name Janina Smith) and drag queen Holly Stars.
The picture, which clearly showed Rowling’s address, was posted on social media.
Its effect? To stir up online abuse of the author, who has found herself accused of transphobia ever since she mocked an online article in June 2020 which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
The trio, whom Rowling has accused of trying to ‘intimidate’ her for ‘speaking up for women’s sex-based rights’, were carrying placards with the messages ‘Trans Liberation Now’, ‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’, and ‘Don’t Be A Cissy’, a pun on ‘cis’, a term meaning someone whose gender identity corresponds with their sex at birth.
Rowling is very much a ‘Cissy’, to use the trans vernacular, voicing her views on the importance of biological sex, arguing that the activity of a tiny minority was leading to the ‘erasure of women’.
In other words: speaking up for women in the same manner Miss Frost did in her acceptance speech.
In the eyes of the hate mob that now makes Rowling — and others like her who are targets of the ‘cancel culture’ zealots — fair game for almost any kind of abuse.
It’s almost absurd to think that this irony still holds up four years later. This is Georgia Frost, who appeared this week in the same picture outside JK Rowling’s Edinburgh house.
Even Frost, though — who has appeared in BBC shows — surely couldn’t have imagined targeting (hounding, many would say) the author of Harry Potter a few years after receiving a prize from an actress acclaimed for her role as Hermione Granger.
Frost, 29, and her companions appear to have been very careful not to overstep the mark, despite identifying Rowling’s home.
Presumably they knew that breaching someone’s privacy is not a criminal offence and it would probably be up to the author to pursue a civil case against them, which was unlikely.
So they adopted a cowardly tactic known as ‘doxing’ — publishing personal information to enable others to take action. They responded with fury.
Rowling’s agent did not wish to disclose whether any of the threats and vile insults she was subjected to were sent directly to her home.
After her tweet address was tweeted by three trans activists, the gates burst.
Rowling is very much a ‘Cissy’, to use the trans vernacular, voicing her views on the importance of biological sex, arguing that the activity of a tiny minority was leading to the ‘erasure of women’
The vast majority of the trolls hid behind anonymised profiles and sometimes substituted letters with other characters in the most offensive words to avoid being removed by search engines such as ‘D!e’ (Die), ‘R*pe’ (Rape), and ‘K!ll’ (Kill).
Almost all the vitriol sent to Rowling’s online account has been deleted.
The Mail found this, however: ‘D!E ALREADY FFS (for f**** sake).
Other examples, which poured in from all over the world, are still on Twitter groups set up specifically to target Rowling, including: ‘Rot in Hell’, ‘JK Rowling is a liar’, ‘JK Rowling is trash, ‘JK Rowling stands for… j k*ll rowling,’ and ‘jk Rowling I am about to dress like myself to K!ll you’.
The details of much of the assault are difficult to document. Rowling contacted the police, who said in a statement that they were aware of the incident last Friday and ‘inquiries were continuing’.
Frost, Smith and Stars said they stood by their actions but revealed on social media the following day that ‘while we stand by the photo, since posting it we have received an overwhelming amount of serious and transphobic messages so we have decided to take down the photo’.
To be reduced to the level or the mob regardless of circumstances is never an option.
It is difficult to imagine a worse example of hypocrisy that their self-serving declaration that they were the victims of this scandalous affair.
It was the latest episode in a sustained and hysterical campaign of harassment and abuse against Rowling that began 15 months ago when she sardonically pointed out that there was such a thing as a ‘woman’ after an article had referred simply to ‘people who menstruate’.
After writing a 3,600 word essay explaining why she spoke out about sex issues, and the dangers presented by changing the law that allows people to change genders without having to undergo a medical consultation, her reasoning was posted to her website. Critics claimed it would create female-only spaces like changing rooms or refuges for anyone who claims to be woman.
Although the Government has dropped the Gender Recognition Act Amendment, the Scottish Government will continue to implement the controversial reform.
Since voicing her views Rowling, 56 — who had an abusive first marriage and suffered a serious sexual assault as a young woman — has been singled out by what one commentator called ‘the mob of the perpetually outraged’.
‘I have to assume [they] thought doxing me would intimidate me out of speaking up for women’s sex-based rights,’ Rowling wrote after the most recent incident.
‘They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them and I haven’t stopped speaking out.
Perhaps, I’m just throwing it out there, the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop harassing and threatening us.’
It has not been easy to withstand the backlash. Rowling was tweeted by someone who wrote: ‘I wish you a nice pipe bomb in mailbox.’
Former fans burned her books. Her literary agency has resigned four authors.
Rowling (pictured 2019) defends herself against three trans-protestors who took pictures in front of Rowling’s home in Edinburgh
After she tweeted about biological sex and criticized an opinion piece that utilized the term ‘people who have their periods’, the children’s author of a book for children was accused of being transphobic.
The stars of Harry Potter’s films poured scorn on her, and they owe their careers to her.
Oxfam even withdrew a board game celebrating ‘inspirational women’ featuring Rowling after becoming a target for activists.
What is most perverse about all of this? Her rags to riches story as a single mother who survived on welfare while writing the Potter books, was an inspiring one that should be fully in line with liberal-minded Britain.
However, Holly Stars and Richard Energy aren’t in the frontline of what critics call a new McCarthyism.
They were touring Edinburgh as part of Stars’s show Death Drop, billed as ‘a Dragatha Christie murder-mystery caper’, when they took time out to target Rowling.
In the picture tweeted on the ‘doorstep’ of Rowling’s home, Frost is almost unrecognisable from the polished photos of her on the website of her London agents or the glamorous young thespian at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, whose roll call of famous alumni includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeremy Irons and Olivia Colman.
Rowling’s agent did not wish to disclose whether any of the threats and vile insults she was subjected to were sent directly to her home
Frost grew up in Warrington, Cheshire. She and her brother lived with their mother after the divorce.
She now lives in South-East London and has a wide range of stage and screen credits to her name, among them The Taming Of The Shrew at Shakespeare’s Globe and the BBC’s long-running Casualty.
Her family is a strong supporter of acting. Her brother stars in a TV show and her father heads a South-West performing arts institute.
He did not wish to comment on the controversy surrounding his daughter, saying only that ‘Georgia leads her own life’.
Richard Energy, a friend and activist, was also born Janina, the daughter to a teacher of music.
Accredited actors include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and regional theatre, as well as appearances at London Contemporary Dance School.
Audiences were introduced to ‘drag king’ Energy in January last year. The Facebook posts of his friend give us a glimpse into the mentality and contempt that the militant transgender lobby has for JK rowling.
In one, Energy, 33, suggested alternative reading to Rowling —‘16 books by transgender and non-binary authors’.
The post read: ‘My sister read all the early Potter books to me. I didn’t give JK Rowling a second thought back then — maybe I really wasn’t aware of the name — the books belonged to my sister and her funny voices. It was magic. A magic that Rowling didn’t create [actually she did, Richard]I cannot be taken away from you and your enby [non-binary person] soul.’
On Wednesday, amid the growing furore over the Edinburgh stunt, when fans of Rowling rallied to her defence, Energy said on social media: ‘This has and continues to be a very rough time . . . We are grateful to all who have reached out in love. #transrights arehumanrights.’
Stars, the drag queen, is clearly concerned about her privacy. All of her social media accounts were either deleted, or only available to friends.
She grew up in Crewe and attended a Catholic school ‘towards the tail end of the Aids crisis,’ according to a local news website. It was in Crewe, she said, that she was subjected to homophobic death threats and bullied ‘for being queer’.
Stars, the writer of the Death Drop show that brought her, Frost and Energy to Edinburgh, is also a stand-up comedian and presents a monthly cabaret in London’s Soho. The capital, she says, is ‘more tolerant’ than Crewe but added ‘there is still a lot of work to be done’.
Clearly, she and her friends don’t believe in extending the same tolerance to JK Rowling.
Similar accusations to those levelled against her, Rowling argues, have been ‘sufficient to intimidate many people, institutions and organisations’.
The evidence is growing. Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who was threatened by transactivists, decided to not attend the party conference she attended in September. . . Balaclava-clad fanatics harassed Kathleen Stock, Professor of Philosophy at Sussex University. . . Maya Forstater, a tax consultant, was fired for her belief that people can’t change their biological sex.
Was Rowling wrong?
Joanna Williams, a writer and academic who wrote Women vs Feminism, answered that question with eloquence.
‘Her crime, ironically, is to deny the power of magic,’ Dr Williams said.
‘She believes it takes more than uttering a few special words for a man to transform into a woman — to say simply that because he identifies as a woman, he is a woman.’
Is there anyone outside the militant transgender lobby and some members of the liberal establishment who doesn’t also share this belief?