Daniel Radcliffe Responds to J.K. Rowling's Transphobic Tweets

"Transgender women are women."

Over the weekend, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling drew criticism when she posted about a news story covering healthcare inequality titled, "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate."

"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" she wrote alongside the article. She went on to explain herself, but it didn't satisfy many fans. "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," she wrote.

Daniel Radcliffe
David M. Benett / Contributor

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, addressed the controversy in an open letter for The Trevor Project, saying that he wasn't going to try and start any sort of fight with Rowling, but went on to say that he stands behind the transgender community, stating simply, "transgender women are women."

"I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now. 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 wrote.

He continued, explaining that neither he nor Rowling are experts and that the most important thing to do is to support the transgender community, citing statistics that show discrimination against transgender and nonbinary youth, a group of people that undoubtedly includes Harry Potter fans.

"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," Radcliffe continued. "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 addressed those fans directly, writing, "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 finished, saying that fans should not let Rowling's comments affect their love of the series or the lessons that they found on the pages of those books.

"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," he concluded.

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