Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has responded to comments made by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling about transgender women and transgender rights.
Radcliffe wrote a lengthy response on Monday, June 8 to controversial comments tweeted by Rowling on Saturday (June 8).
Writing for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that specializes in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ people, the actor declared: “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.”
He said more support for transgender rights was needed: “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.”
Daniel Radcliffe says it’s not just in-fighting between him and Rowling
Radcliffe also stressed that he doesn’t want the media to paint this as “in-fighting between” him and Rowling but that as someone who has felt “honored to work” with The Trevor Project, he felt “compelled to say something at this moment.”
Radcliffe finished his statement by apologizing to anybody who’s experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished by Rowling’s comments. He said, “I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.”
Radcliffe was writing in response to three tweets sent by J.K. Rowling, where she argued that discussion of transgender identity invalidated biological sex and lessened the identity experiences of women.
What were J.K. Rowling’s comments?
Rowling wrote: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.”
She continued: “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — i.e., to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense.”
She finished by writing: “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
This isn’t the first time that Rowling has waded into transgender issues. In December 2019, she courted controversy when she came out in support of Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job after tweeting “men cannot change into women.”
JK Rowling has involved herself in numerous political issues from trans rights to Scottish independence, and she recently hit the headlines when she offered to pay a reward to a rogue British civil servant who tweeted criticisms about the U.K. Government.