Daniel Radcliffe defends trans people following JK Rowling's transphobic comments

9 June 2020, 11:23

Daniel Radcliffe reads the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Daniel Radcliffe has teamed up with the Trevor Project to defend trans people in the wake of J.K. Rowling's tweets.

Daniel Radcliffe has spoken up in support of trans people after J.K. Rowling posted numerous transphobic tweets on Twitter.

Last weekend (Jun 7), Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted: "'People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" in response to a piece about period poverty and how it affects cis women, trans men and non-binary people. She then made several more explicitly transphobic remarks.

READ MORE: JK Rowling slammed for liking transphobic tweets on Twitter

J.K.'s comments received huge backlash on social media and now Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has addressed them.

Daniel Radcliffe responds to JK Rowling's transphobic comments
Daniel Radcliffe responds to JK Rowling's transphobic comments. Picture: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for AT&T, Gareth Davies/Getty Images

In a statement via LGBTQ+ charity The Trevor Project, Daniel stated:

"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.

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."


Daniel isn't the only Harry Potter star who's spoken out either. Cho Chang actress Katie Leung has called on her followers to donate to charities which support black trans people and Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, listed various trans people and resources that J.K. could refer to as a means of education.

Noma tweeted: "1. Dear Jo - Marsha P. Johnson. Sylvia Rivera. Indya Moore. Angelica Ross. Tamara Adrián. Rebecca Root. Isis King. Laverne Cox. Caitlyn Jenner. Lily and Lana Wachowski. Trace Lysette. Andreja Pejic. Tracey Norman. Janet Mock. APRIL ASHLEY... etc, etc, Wikipedia.."

She then added: "2. As I honour mine, and the trans friends in my life. I’ll defer to THEIR LIVED EXPERIENCES, not their erasure. And these are just the WOMEN! There is Magic in listening. This has stories for millennia. know You Know All this...with love. Nx"

As it stands, J.K. is yet to apologise for her transphobia or respond to Daniel, Noma and Katie. We shall update you if she does.