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Daniel Radcliffe declares ‘trans women are women’ in response to JK Rowling’s anti-trans tirade

Nick Duffy June 9, 2020
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe spoke out

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe spoke out (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Turner)

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has made his unwavering support for trans equality clear, in response to anti-trans comments from the series’ author JK Rowling.

Rowling spent much of the weekend infuriating her own fans with an anti-trans tirade,  insisting that “erasing the concept of sex” means there’s “no same-sex attraction” and “the lived reality of women globally is erased”.

It was only the latest display of anti-trans rhetoric from the author, but has triggered condemnation from fans and former cast members.

Daniel Radcliffe: ‘We need to support trans and non-binary people, not invalidate their identities.’

Responding in a blog for LGBT+ charity The Trevor Project, Radcliffe said that while his response will probably be branded “in-fighting between JK Rowling and myself, that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now”.

He wrote: “While Jo 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. 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 per cent of transgender and non-binary 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 non-binary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe spoke out
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe spoke out (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Addressing the thousands of upset Harry Potter fans who have publicly made their disappointment clear, he added: “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, non-binary, 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.”

Radcliffe is the first major member of the Harry Potter film cast to speak out in response to Rowling, though Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang, posted a rallying cry for Black trans lives.

Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the film series, has previously made her support for transgender people clear – but has not been drawn into responding to Rowling’s comments on this occasion.

Harry Potter fans are overcome in response to actor’s powerful message.

Fans responded emotionally to Radcliffe’s statement.

One Twitter response reads: “No, but seriously, I think it’s so important that Daniel Radcliffe wrote the letter to make sure everyone feels validated in the Harry Potter fandom and that he supports each one of us. I’m literally crying.”

Another added: “Harry Potter’s legacy is in great hands with Daniel Radcliffe.”

Trans actor Harrison Browne wrote: “In all seriousness, Daniel Radcliffe is saving lives with this statement. As a trans person, I used movies and books as an escape from my life and Harry Potter was one of those spaces I found refuge in. From one Harry to another… thank you.”

More: Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, The Trevor Project, Trans, transphobia

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