Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has penned an essay responding to a series of transphobic tweets by its creator, J.K. Rowling.
The essay, shared by LGBTQ suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project, affirms that “transgender women are women,” and urges Harry Potter fans to not let Rowling’s words “taint” what the books and films meant to them.
The author has been widely criticized for the tweets, which contained anti-transgender language regarding sex and gender identity.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” Rowling posted on June 6. “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.”
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.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
She continued: “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.”
Rowling added that she respects “every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.”
“I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans,” she wrote. “At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
The author, who also wrote and produced the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and its sequel, shared an article from The Velvet Chronicle, which has become synonymous with so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminists — or TERFs.
Last month, she misgendered a trans woman in a tweet that she later claimed was accidental, and in 2019 Rowling supported Maya Forstater, a British tax expert who was fired after posting a series of transphobic tweets.
In his essay, Daniel Radcliffe — who has been frequently outspoken in his support for equality and the LGBTQ community — apologized to those who were hurt by Rowling’s tweets.
“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,” Radcliffe continued. “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 said the he was “still learning how to be a better ally” and linked to the Trevor Project’s “Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth” for those wishing to learn more about transgender and nonbinary identities. “It’s an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics, including the differences between sex and gender, and shares best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people,” he wrote.
“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,” Radcliffe concluded. “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.”
Rowling isn’t the only former Harry Potter star to speak out in support for trans people. Katie Leung, who starred as Cho Chang in the films, posted a tweet after Rowling’s comments and after discussion on Twitter about diversity in the Harry Potter books.
“So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread),” Leung wrote. However, in subsequent replies, Leung instead linked to a number of organizations supporting black transgender people.
“#AsiansForBlackLives,” Leung added.
— Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung) June 7, 2020
By Joseph Reberkenny on July 5, 2022
Warner Bros. has doubled down in support of author J.K. Rowling after Harry Potter actor Tom Felton was told not to discuss her past transphobic remarks.
Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the eight-part Potter movie series, was on hand to promote the opening of Professor Sprout's greenhouse at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, a walkthrough exhibition that simulates the environment of the Harry Potter books and films.
The year of the greenhouse's debut coincides with the 25th anniversary of the 1997 publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling's seven-part literary series.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest LGBTQ organization, is suing a Tennessee school district and the Tennessee Department of Education over a statewide bill that bars transgender students from using restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that do not match their assigned sex at birth.
In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of a transgender third-grade girl and her parents on Thursday, Aug. 4, in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the HRC Foundation claims that, by enforcing the law, the Williamson County Board of Education and the Tennessee Department of Education are violating their client's right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and her right to be free from sex-based discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
A transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against a Chick-fil-A franchise in Decatur, Georgia, claiming she was unlawfully fired from her job after complaining about on-the-job sexual harassment and discrimination.
The employee in question, Erin Taylor, is suing the Chick-fil-A- restaurant located at 105 East Trinity Place in downtown Decatur, demanding an unspecified amount in damages and asking to be reinstated in her role as the franchise's director of operations, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the lawsuit, Taylor was hired on Aug. 23, 2021, when she began training for the director of operations role. In her first few days, Taylor went through training with other new hires at different levels.
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