The Harry Potter fandom was hit with a major controversy over the weekend, when franchise author J.K. Rowling came under fire for a series of transphobic tweets. After making a comment that was regarded as incredibly offensive to trans women, Rowling continued to double down on her sentiment, which led to a lot of the franchise's fans feeling hurt in the process. In the days since Rowling initially made her comments, the discourse has still continued, with some of the stars of the Harry Potter films even weighing in. The latest to do so is Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed the titular character in the film franchise. Radcliffe recently penned an emotional op-ed on The Trevor Project's website in response to Rowling's statement, which included him specifically saying that "transgender women are women."
"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," Radcliffe's op-ed begins. "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," Radcliffe continued. "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."
Radcliffe also encouraged readers to check out The Trevor Project's Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth, a resource that helps those who want to know more about supporting the members of those communities. He also apologized to the fans whose relationship to Harry Potter has felt tarnished by Rowling's comments.
"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," Radcliffe 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. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much."
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