Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has shared a lengthy essay in response to J.K. Rowling’s tone-deaf transphobic tweets that were shared on Saturday, June 6th.
In case you missed it, here’s a rundown on the J.K. Rowling saga: On Saturday, June 6th Rowling quote retweeted an op-ed titled “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate,” captioning the article “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
The comments were (rightly) perceived as trans-erasure by Rowling’s followers. Instead of doing the sane, respectable thing of apologising for her unnecessary comments, Rowling doubled down on her opinion, writing, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction.”
She continued, “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.”
The tweets incited backlash from prominent trans voices, writers and allies — who condemned Rowling’s comments as being a product of ingrained transphobia and “inaccurate and cruel.”
It also spurred conversation about the underlying racism in the Harry Potter novels after actress Katie Leung lured Twitter readers in with a tweet alluding to gossiping about her character, Cho Chang, but ultimately directed them to a fundraiser for Black trans women experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. Go off queen.
“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe 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.”
He continued, “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,” he wrote. “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.”