Harry Potter franchise star Daniel Radcliffe has penned a response to and rejection of author J.K. Rowling‘s most recent wave (yes, there’s been more than one) of transphobic comments. For some reason, Rowling felt compelled to share her odious, anti-trans views on Twitter recently, reaffirming she is, at her core, a Dementor. Rowling’s statements, which are unacceptable and completely ignorant of the truth that trans women are women, elicited very valid responses from the public rejecting her and her words.
They also elicited what is a heartfelt but firm rejection from Radcliffe. The actor has long been an ally to the LGBTQ community and has worked closely with The Trevor Project over the years. So, it should come as little surprise that The Trevor Project‘s official site served as the venue for Radcliffe’s essay-length statement refuting Rowling’s comments. Radcliffe’s essay begins, 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,” and goes on to say,
“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.”
Radcliffe’s statement goes on to share links to further reading from The Trevor Project on how to be an ally to trans and nonbinary youth (an essential primer, in this writer’s opinion). The actor goes on to then beautifully summarize the mixed emotions many Harry Potter fans may be feeling while also validating any inclinations we may have to continue embracing those books.
“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.”
There isn’t much more I can offer in addition to Radcliffe’s statement, other than to confirm it is very good and very necessary. What’s most important is his removal of both himself and Rowling from this statement; instead, Radcliffe opts to center trans and non-binary folks while showing unabashed support. I’m so glad Radcliffe offered his thoughts on this matter and took a stand for what is right. May we all keep these words in mind as we go forth.
While I go bask in the great goodness of Radcliffe’s essay, why don’t you go check out our latest Harry Potter coverage, including an essay celebrating the movie franchise as part of our ongoing “My Comfort Movie” series?