Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe responded to the controversial anti-trans tweet by author J.K. Rowling.
Radcliffe wrote to the essay on the website of the Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation for the LGBTQ community, dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
“Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I,” he wrote.
Radcliffe went on to say that 78% of transgender and non-binary youth have said that they have been discriminated against due to their gender identity.
The statement comes after a series of controversial tweets by J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. She replied to a headline on an article about “people who menstruate” and said, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Twitter blew up after she said this and accused her of being transphobic. She, however, said, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans.”
Radcliffe said that he hopes that her statements do not taint the Harry Potter series for her fans. “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” he said. “If you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life – then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
He went on to write, “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” Radcliffe wrote. “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
Radcliffe, in the opening of his essay, acknowledged that the media might paint the statement as in-fighting between him and Rowling. However, he was clear that she was “unquestionably responsible” for how his life turned out. But, he also realised that he had to speak out.
This is not the first time that Rowling has come under fire for voicing her opinions. In December, people protested against her support for Maya Forstater for tweeting, “Men cannot change into women”.