Published Jun 09, 2020Daniel Radcliffe has responded to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's latest tirade against trans and nonbinary identities, telling fans of the book and film series to not let Rowling's hurtful comments taint their childhood stories.
In a new essay for The Trevor Project — an LGBTQ youth organization Radcliffe has worked with for a decade — he expressed support for transgender individuals who may have been hurt by Rowling's comments, reaffirming their identities in the face of so much erasure.
"Transgender women are women," he wrote. "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."
Radcliffe added: "It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."
The actor's essay was written in response to a series of Rowling's tweets from Saturday (June 6), criticizing an article that used the term "people who menstruate," a phrase she argues invalidates women's experiences.
A number of people responded to point out that many nonbinary people and trans men do menstruate. Rowling maintained her stance despite the ongoing backlash from followers and requests to do better. Following the controversy, many of Rowling's followers also suggested that she is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist for her views, a term better known by its acronym, TERF.
Radcliffe's response closed with an apology on Rowling's behalf:
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.
Read Radcliffe's essay in full.