Actor Daniel Radcliffe, known for playing Harry Potter in the movies, wrote an article to answer J.K. Rowling’s declarations about transgender people on Saturday (6).
The text written by Radcliffe was published in the Trevor Project website, an NGO which gives emotional support to LGBT+ people and works on suicide prevention.
The actor starts the article by saying that, although the declarations might seem like a fight between him and J.K. Rowling, that’s not the point. “Just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment”, he wrote.
On Saturday evening, J.K. Rowling published messages considered transphobic by the Harry Potter fans. The author wrote that denying biological sex is prejudicial to women’s fight against misogyny.
In the article, Radcliffe says that “trans women are women” and that unlike what J.K. Rowling says, it goes against recommendations from professional health specialists. “[we cannot] invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm”, he wrote.
He also wrote about how fans can keep the relationship they have with the Harry Potter books after being let down by its author. He mentions the lessons that the books taught the fans and that it can remain unaltered.
Read Daniel Radcliffe’s article
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.
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.
“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”– Daniel Radcliffe
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.
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.
Translated by Nuara Costa
Edited by Aline Michel