After Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling posted a series of transphobic tweets over the weekend, LGBTQ+ people across the Internet responded with passionate retorts and universal backlash.
Trans people and their allies attempted to educate the acclaimed author about the nuances of being trans and how her words matter to LGBTQ+ youth specifically.
Now, the man who played her most famous character in the successful Harry Potter franchise is speaking out.
In an essay posted by The Trevor Project, Daniel Radcliffe responded to Rowling’s tweets in a heartfelt message about the importance of acknowledging the existence of trans people.
“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,” Radcliffe began. “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,” he continued. “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 percent 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.”
“I am still learning how to be a better ally, so if you want to join me in learning more about transgender and nonbinary identities check out The Trevor Project’s Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth. It’s an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics, including the differences between sex and gender, and shares best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people.”
He concluded, “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; 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.”
Rowling’s initial tweets came at an already hostile time as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets over the weekend to protest against white supremacy and police brutality.
Of course, this isn’t the first transphobic tirade Rowling has done. Last year, she tweeted her support of a British woman, Maya Forstater, after she was fired for sharing transphobic rhetoric on social media.
“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security,” she tweeted at the time. “But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill”