'Harry Potter' Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Katie Leung and More Voice Support for Trans Rights
Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have voiced their support for the trans community following controversial comments made by the franchise's creator J.K. Rowling.
Rowling was accused of transphobia over the weekend after posting a series of tweets expressing views which align with those of so-called "TERFS," or trans exclusionary radical feminists. The author posted a link to an article which referred to "people who menstruate" with the comment: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"
Many of her followers pointed out that this excludes women who don't menstruate, including trans women, which caused Rowling to complain about people "erasing the concept of sex."
After receiving considerable criticism for her tweets, Rowling shared a 3,700-word blog post on her website Wednesday in which she doubled down on her views and also revealed that she is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Shortly after Rowling shared her blog post, Watson came out in support of the trans community, tweeting: "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are."
Actress Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, also voiced her support for the trans community, tweeting: "Trans women are women."
Eddie Redmayne, who stars in her Fantastic Beasts movie franchise, a spin-off from Harry Potter, has also spoken out in support of trans rights.
Redmayne, who portrayed a trans woman in the 2015 film The Danish Girl, told Variety: "I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."
On Monday, Radcliffe voiced support for the trans community too, in a statement issued through LGBTQ charity The Trevor Project.
"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," he wrote.
"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 non-binary 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 non-binary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."
Over the weekend, actress Katie Leung – who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films – seemingly responded to Rowling's comments by encouraging her followers to donate money to Black trans women, who are more likely to face discriminatory policies and are also at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness and poor mental health.
Rowling's controversial comments come as many members of the LGBTQ community are showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and celebrating Pride Month virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.