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Daniel Radcliffe Responds To J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Rant In Support Of Trans Community

by : Lucy Connolly on : 09 Jun 2020 08:03
Daniel Radcliffe Responds To J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Rant In Support Of Trans CommunityDaniel Radcliffe Responds To J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Rant In Support Of Trans CommunityPA Images

Daniel Radcliffe has spoken out about J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans tweets, directly addressing fans who may have been hurt by the author’s comments.

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The Harry Potter star was responding to a series of controversial tweets from Rowling, who over the weekend argued the discussion of gender identity invalidates biological sex.

Rowling initially sparked outrage by mocking a headline about ‘people who menstruate’, leading many on social media to accuse her of transphobia – something the author has been accused of before.

JK RowlingJK RowlingPA Images

Apparently taking issue with the headline, Rowling sarcastically tweeted: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’

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When her followers began calling her out, with many urging her to speak to members of the LGBTQ+ community and letting her know how disappointed they were with her rigid gender binary views, the author simply doubled down on them.

First she used the opinions of people from the LGB+ community to justify her own opinions, saying her ‘best mate’ who is a ‘self-described butch lesbian’ just rang her to agree with her and embedding an article written by a lesbian on the topic, before later passing off her views as facts: ‘It isn’t hate to speak the truth.’

JK RowlingJK RowlingPA Images

Radcliffe, who rose to fame as a child actor in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter book series, wrote a lengthy and heartfelt response to Rowling’s comments in a blog post for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation devoted to suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.

In the statement, the actor said that while Rowling ‘is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honoured 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 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.’

Daniel RadcliffeDaniel RadcliffePA Images

The 30-year-old actor then cited statistics from the Trevor Project that found 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth have reported they’ve been discriminated against 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 wrote.

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He went on to address fans of Harry Potter who said they could no longer enjoy the franchise due to Rowling’s hurtful comments, stating: ‘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 continued:

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

harry potter and the goblet of fireharry potter and the goblet of fireWarner Bros. Pictures

This is not the first time Rowling has faced backlash over her views on trans people; she has previously been criticised for liking tweets written by trans-exclusionary feminists (TERF), and in December tweeted out support for Maya Forstater, a woman who lost her job after tweeting ‘Men cannot change into women’.

Radcliffe isn’t the first high-profile celebrity to speak out against Rowling’s comments either; Queer Eye star Jonathon Van Ness responded to her tweets with, ‘Trans women are women,’ while Katie Leung – who starred in the Harry Potter films – referenced her character and shared links to trans groups on Twitter.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers. Alternatively, you can visit www.mermaidsuk.org.uk or www.thetrevorproject.org

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Film and TV, Daniel Radcliffe, Film, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Now, Sex and Relationships, trans, Transphobia, Twitter

Credits

J.K Rowling/Twitter and 1 other
  1. J.K Rowling/Twitter

    @jk_rowling

  2. The Trevor Project

    DANIEL RADCLIFFE RESPONDS TO J.K. ROWLING’S TWEETS ON GENDER IDENTITY