Daniel Radcliffe responds to J.K. Rowling's tweets following transphobia backlash
"Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people," the Harry Potter star wrote a lengthy statement.
"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. 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," Radcliffe wrote. "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," he continued. "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."
Radcliffe concluded by addressing the legions of fans of the Harry Potter series who have found solace and hope in the story's themes. "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," he reflected. "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."
The Harry Potter star is not the first to take Rowling to task for the comments she posted to Twitter over the weekend. Rowling wrote a slew of tweets asserting that women are defined by the ability to menstruate and her belief in the conceptual definition of sex as a determinate of identity. Her tweets were criticized for being 'anti-trans' by The Good Place's Jameela Jamil, Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness, Star Trek: Discovery's Anthony Rapp, and GLAAD among others.
Rowling was also criticized last December for tweeting her support of a British researcher named Maya Forstater who was fired from the Centre for Global Development after expressing anti-transgender sentiments.
Radcliffe has been an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ causes for years. In 2009, he joined the Trevor Project's Circle of Hope, a community of major donors which plays an essential role in the financial leadership of the organization. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth. He also received The Trevor Project's Hero Award in 2011 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the organization and LGBTQ youth.