- ‘If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe... then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred.’
Daniel Radcliffe has responded to JK Rowling’s anti-trans tweets and said he hopes her comments won’t ‘tarnish’ Harry Potter for fans.
Radcliffe gave the clear message: ‘Trans women are women.’ And he added: ‘Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people’.
The Harry Potter actor’s message comes after Rowling mocked trans inclusive language.
The author wrote: ‘“People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
And Rowling added: ‘If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.’
It’s not the first time Rowling has attracted controversy over trans issues. In December 2019 she defended tax expert Maya Forstater for her anti-trans views.
‘I feel compelled to say something’
Radcliffe, now aged 30, thanked Rowling for ‘the course my life has taken’. But he said he had to speak up as a supporter of LGBT+ crisis intervention and suicide prevention service The Trevor Project.
Moreover, he said ‘just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment’.
He said: ‘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.
‘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.’
‘I hope you don’t lose what was valuable in these stories’
Moreover, Radcliffe said he hoped fans wouldn’t feel Rowling’s comments had tainted their love of Harry Potter:
‘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.’
Jonathan Ross: ‘Let’s keep talking’
Radcliffe also urged others who, like him, want to be a better ally to use this resource from The Trevor Project.
Meanwhile another celebrity has indicated he is prepared to learn about trans issues.
British TV host Jonathan Ross initially defended Rowling’s tweets. He said: ‘For those accusing her of transphobia, please read what she wrote. She is clearly not.’
However, he later sent a very different message after talking about the issue with his daughters.
Ross tweeted: ‘Those who know me will concede I try to be thoughtful and not a dick.
‘Having talked to some people (OK,my daughters) re my earlier tweet, I’ve come to accept that I’m not in a position to decide what is or isn’t considered transphobic.
‘It’s a wildly sensitive subject. Let’s keep talking.’
His 23-year-old daughter Honey had gone on Instagram to condemn Rowling’s remarks.