'Harry Potter' Actor Daniel Radcliffe Responds to J.K. Rowling's Tweets About Gender Identity

June 9, 2020
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“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe is standing with trans women after author J.K. Rowling was accused of controversial transphobic statements on Twitter.

Radcliffe, who starred as the titular teen wizard in the film franchise based on Rowling’s book series, posted an essay for the Trevor Project on Monday acknowledging “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," the 30-year-old wrote.

He cited data from the LGBTQ nonprofit writing, “78 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity," adding, “it’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."

Radcliffe also encouraged fans not to allow Rowling’s comments to take away from the magic that they may have found in the book and films.

"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 said. "I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you."

While Rowling may have written the books, he didn’t want her personal opinions to dictate what they mean to each personal individually.

"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."

On Saturday, Rowling faced backlash after taking issue with the phrase “people who menstruate” in a Devex article.

"‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?,” Rowling tweeted alongside the article.

Rowling defended her initial tweets writing, "I’ve spent much of the last three years reading books, blogs and scientific papers by trans people, medics and gender specialists. I know exactly what the distinction is. Never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge."

She refuted the idea that she didn’t support trans women, writing that she "respects every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them."

“It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” she wrote adding that her life “has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so."

Her comments sparked the hashtag #JKRowlingIsOverParty.

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