Daniel Radcliffe has spoken out about the comments JK Rowling made regarding transgender women, hoping they haven’t ‘tarnished’ Harry Potter for the readers.
The actor, who played the title role in the magical series of films, hit back after JK Rowling – whose first name is Joanne – made a series of ‘anti-trans’ tweets over the weekend.
Radcliffe shared a statement through LGBT suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project, sharing his thoughts on Rowling’s controversial opinions.
Denying there was ‘infighting’ between him and the author, he wrote: ‘As someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.
‘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.
‘According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm. (sic)’
Radcliffe admitted he was still learning how to be a better ally, and how to support nonbinary people, but worried those who may have read Harry Potter as a child now feel that Rowling’s comments have ruined their memories of the books.
He added: ‘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.
‘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.’
He continued: ‘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. Love always, Dan.’
The author had previously commented on a story with a headline that read: ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.’
Taking issue with the phrasing, Rowling wrote: ‘”People who menstruate”. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
Fans had flooded her with replies to tell her it wasn’t just cis-gender women who menstruate, to which she replied: ‘If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.
‘I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.
‘The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – “hate” trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
‘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.
‘At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.’
It is not the first time Rowling has been accused of being transphobic, after she voiced her support in December for a researcher who had been fired for tweeting that ‘men cannot change into women’.
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