Harry Potter stars from Daniel Radcliffe to Katie Leung are standing against J.K. Rowling’s latest anti-trans comments
As protests around the world continue to demand racial equality and an end to police brutality, it’s so important to recognize the contributions of queer and trans people to Black Lives Matter and similar movements. And so it’s especially disappointing that J.K. Rowling has made yet another series of anti-trans comments, this week of all weeks. Thankfully, Harry Potter actors, including star Daniel Radcliffe, do not share her views.
Via the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth, Radcliffe issued a statement responding to Rowling’s comments.
Radcliffe begins his statement by saying there’s no “in-fighting” between himself and Rowling. “That is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now,” he writes. “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, 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,” Radcliffe says. “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.”
Radcliffe ended his statement by encouraging fans to join him in learning how to be a better ally to trans people and other marginalized groups. He pointed to resources like the Trevor Project’s guide to being an ally.
“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 added. “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”
Rowling came under fire this week for responding to an article about the health and equity concerns of menstruation, writing, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
She followed that up with a series of tweets about how sex is an important part of women’s lived experiences — honestly, the argument made no sense and utterly missed the point of the article she was sharing. The piece was about the politics of menstruation specifically, not about anything relating to people who identify as women. Some women menstruate. Some women don’t. And people who aren’t women can menstruate as well. Those are facts.
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Radcliffe isn’t the only Harry Potter star to respond. Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang, tweeted what appeared to be a response as well, writing, “So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread).”
The threaded replies were a series of links to organizations that support Black LGBTQ+ people, including a fund for homeless Black trans women.
So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread)
— Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung) June 7, 2020
JK Rowling may be canceled, but the Harry Potter cast is very much not.