Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series, said that “transgender women are women,” and that he is “deeply sorry for the pain” caused by J.K. Rowling after the author suggested that only women can menstruate.
“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,” said Radcliffe in a statement published by The Trevor Project.
“Transgender women are women,” continued Radcliffe in his statement. “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.”
The actor was responding to the backlash that Rowling faced after she posted a tweet suggesting that only biological women can menstruate.
“‘People who menstruate,'” tweeting Rowling, quoting a headline from an opinion piece on Devex, entitled, “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”
“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” added Rowling. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Rowling took to Twitter again and appeared to expound on her initial remarks by stating that if “sex” is not real, then there is no such thing as “same sex attraction.”
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” wrote Rowling. “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 author continued in a follow-up tweet:
“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” affirmed Rowling.
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Rowling’s tweets caused the author’s name to trend on Twitter for hours on Saturday, as users called her out for affirming the existence of biology.
The organization GLAAD responded by suggesting that Rowling is “anti-trans.”
If you want to direct your rightful anger over JK Rowling's latest anti-trans comments into something positive, support orgs that help Black trans people like @MPJInstitute, @blacktransusa, @TransJusticeFP, @Genderintell and @ukblackpride
— GLAAD (@glaad) June 7, 2020
Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness also reacted to Rowling’s tweets, calling her out for making such comments while “black and trans people” are “dying.”
“Trans women are women,” wrote Van Ness. “Trans Black people & trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They’re dying. We’re fighting for Black people & trans people and you’re doing this?”
Trans women are women. Trans Black people & trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They’re dying. We’re fighting for Black people & trans people and you’re doing this? https://t.co/2l5PHDCpKD
— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) June 7, 2020
“I am still learning how to be a better ally,” added Radcliffe in his statement, before plugging The Trevor Project — a group that focuses on suicide prevention among the LGBTQ community.
“I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you,” added Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter book series.
The actor continued:
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,” Radcliffe concluded. “It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”