J.K. Rowling made some iffy comments on Twitter, and Daniel Radcliffe has a light-hearted response
Written by: Danica Creahan – June 9th, 2020 7:00pm pst
J.K. Rowling’s June 6 twitter rant drudged up what we all try to forget about the creator of one of the world’s favorite franchises: that she harbors opinions often interpreted by her fanbase as trans-phobic.
If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. 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 entire fandom had to sit with this for a few days, on top of everything else heavy on our hearts at the moment. But then, Daniel Radcliffe came in, and like the Lumos spell, he cast light into our hearts with his response.
Radcliffe made it clear that he did not want his response to be framed as “in-fighting” between himself and the author, because his statement was not simply one of retaliation, but an expression of solidarity and support with the transgender community.
“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 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.”
The face of Harry Potter is not speaking up in a vacuum. This past month we’ve witnessed heinous acts of racism, discrimination, and violent hate. The series of both books and movies serves as a symbol of hope for multiple generations, and Radcliffe wanted to ensure that hope was not diminished by the author’s recent tweets.
“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. 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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