Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has voiced his overwhelming support for trans and nonbinary equality in response to a myriad of “transphobic” tweets from JK Rowling.
On Monday, June 8, Radcliffe shared a moving message of solidarity with the trans and nonbinary community through LGBT+ suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project. He declares, “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.”
Although the actor voices concerns that his words will be taken as “in-fighting” with Rowling, he feels compelled to speak out on this issue. He stated, “I am still learning how to be a better ally, so if you want to join me in learning more about transgender and nonbinary identities check out The Trevor Project’s Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.”
Daniel Radcliffe has used his platform to highlight findings from The Trevor Project survey in which 78% of trans and nonbinary youths reported they were subject to discrimination based on their gender identity. Following Rowling’s tweets, numerous actors, activists, and community members flooded social media with powerful messages calling for support and donations for vital trans resources.
As shown in the largest EU survey on LGBT+ life, there has been a stark rise in trans people experiencing discrimination within their every day life, from 43% of respondents in 2012 to 60% in 2019. The actor declared, “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
“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” 👏
Thank you Daniel Radcliffe for all your support 💗https://t.co/C56gu10Fkk
— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) June 9, 2020
Speaking to fans of the Harry Potter book series, Radcliffe shared the following message, “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.”
The actor continued, “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.”
In all seriousness, Daniel Radcliffe is saving lives with this statement. As a trans person, I used movies and books as an escape from my life and Harry Potter was one of those spaces I found refuge in.
From one Harry to another… thank you. pic.twitter.com/6tU3XsjQPb
— Harrison Browne (@Hbrowne24) June 9, 2020
Regarding fans of the book series and how it impacted them, queer 8 Out of 10 Cats comedian, Sarah Keyworth, penned a moving letter on the importance of trans visibility to JK Rowling. She wrote, “I have used the characters and world you created to inspire and educate the children in my life, specifically my goddaughter, aged 10, who needed a character like Hermione to show her that being a girl can be really, realty cool.”
— Sarah Keyworth (@sarahkcomedy) June 7, 2020
The comedian spoke openly about her goddaughter’s best friend, who was called Luna in the letter. She shared, “They love pink, My Little Pony and they wear skirts and dresses. When Luna comes to visit my goddaughter, she lays out matching outfits for them to wear. We don’t know if Luna is trans, or whether Luna identifies as male but just loves the things they love. We don’t care.”
Keyworth further wrote, “The LGBT+ community wants desperately to be one, and the ideologies that you share drive wedges between us that don’t hurt you, or your adult lesbian friends. They hurt children who love your books, and your characters and see themselves in the clumsy northerner who has pink hair one day and blonde the next, or the one child with a secret, whose friends transform with him to make him feel less alone.”
The comedian’s letter powerfully summarises the negative impact JK Rowling’s harmful words have upon the trans community. Keynote states, “You hurt them. You hurt the audience that made you. You hurt my Luna.”
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