Emma Watson is here to remind everyone that trans women are women, PERIOD
Last weekend, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling decided to log onto Twitter to spew transphobic nonsense. In the middle of Pride Month. During a civil rights movement. In 2020. Her full transphobic rant (after years of passive-aggressively tweeting transphobic messages) basically confirms that she believes only women menstruate and that women are defined by their genitals. She didn’t apologize, but instead doubled down several times on Twitter and even wrote an essay defending her beliefs. Needless to say, it hasn’t gone over well — and now, after Daniel Radcliffe called her out for her bigotry, Emma Watson is following suit.
Watson took to her Twitter account to reinforce the fact that trans people are exactly who they say they are, and that’s all there is to it.
“Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” she writes. “I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.”
She also lists two organizations that celebrate gender diversity that she donates to, Mermaids UK and Mama Cash.
Many people thanked Watson for addressing the issue.
Earlier this week, Harry Potter himself decided to speak out against Rowling’s problematic tweets in an essay via The Trevor Project. “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,” he said.
“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.”
Another Harry Potter alum, Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley, thank you very much), is also speaking out for trans rights. “If Harry Potter was a source of love and belonging for you, that love is infinite and there to take without judgement or question,” she tweeted. “Transwomen are Women. I see you and love you, Bonnie x.”
Of course, the Harry Potter series was about good vs. evil, kindness, inclusion, and love conquering all. It wasn’t without its problematic elements (it’s likely not a surprise now that Rowling has a lot to learn about diversity in several forms), but it genuinely means so much to so many people. It’s hard not to feel like Rowling’s true self on blatant, bigot-y display doesn’t taint her work.
Wright’s permission to still love the books for what the represent in fans’ lives is valuable, however. Even if you can’t truly separate the art from the artist.