- Professor Sprout says trans rights.
Lesbian actress Miriam Margolyes has joined other Harry Potter stars in defending trans rights in the face of JK Rowling’s anti-trans comments.
Margolyes, who played Professor Sprout in the films, said Rowling had a ‘conservative view’ on trans people. By contrast, she thinks people’s gender identity is ‘a matter of personal happiness’ adding ‘that’s what you should concentrate on’.
She joins a long list of Harry Potter stars who have defended trans people in the face of Rowling’s attack. Indeed, this includes all three of the films’ lead actors, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Rowling, 54, stirred huge controversy with comments mocking 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?’
Moreover she 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.’
Rowling went on to outline her views in more detail in an essay online. Furthermore, she added to the controversy by trying to use flawed science to justify her opinions.
‘You can’t be fascist about it’
By contrast, Margolyes, aged 79, has told the Radio Times that transitioning is ‘hugely complicated’.
However she says Rowling jumped into the deep end of the tricky subject.
The actress indicated she was hesitant about joining the complex conversation. She said:
‘I was asked to make a public statement and I didn’t want to. I just thought I’ve made enough public statements.’
However, she did tell Radio Times: ‘I am on the fringes, I suppose, of being rather too direct in some quarters. I always thought that somebody who wanted to become a woman would have chopped their dick off.
‘I know I’m a lesbian and I know I’m a woman, so I’ve sorted it out. But if you are on the way between one sex and another, how do you decide when you’ve arrived? It’s hugely complicated. Look at poor JK Rowling. She’s dived into the pool and got very wet.’
Meanwhile, despite her reluctance to comment, she made even more positive remarks in an interview in The Times.
She told the paper that JK Rowling ‘has a rather conservative view of transgender people. I don’t think I do.’
Moreover she added:
‘It’s a matter of personal happiness for people and I think that’s what you should concentrate on. If you seriously want to become a woman you should be allowed to. You can’t be fascist about it. I think it’s confusing.’
Margolyes meets Australia’s indigenous trans ‘sistergirls’
Margolyes is currently promoting a new three-part series Almost Australian. In it, she embarks on a two-month journey around the vast country to discover what it means to Australian today.
The series includes her meeting a group of indigenous transgender people from the Tiwi Islands.
The islands in the north of Australia have the largest transgender indigenous population in the country, including young children. Aboriginal people call their transgender people ‘Yimpininni’ or ‘Sistergirl’.