Days after J.K. Rowling made a series of transphobic tweets, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has spoken out in defense of trans people.
A couple of days ago, J. K. Rowling, the renowned author of the Harry Potter book series, made some remarks about trans women that sparked controversy. In her tweet, Rowling wrote “ ‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” This was Rowling’s response to a headline about ‘people who menstruate’. This article “[…]called attention to structural healthcare issues for people who have periods.” Critics of J. K. Rowling have called her out for being uninformed about transgendered people. Many on social media have pointed out to Rowling that “[…]other people — such as transgender men and nonbinary people — can also menstruate (and that there are women who don’t).” In her continued response to her critics, Rowling was called out for “[…]incorrectly conflating sex and gender.” Her remarks drew responses from two of the Harry Potter stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung.
“In a written response for the Trevor Project, [Daniel Radcliffe] wrote that ‘transgender women are women’ ” Daniel Radcliffe also wrote that “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 attempted to ease the trans-gender Harry Potter fans by saying that “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you[…]It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.” Daniel Radcliffe acknowledged that he is still learning how to use his platform to be a better ally to transgender people. Even though Radcliffe’s comments are in direct opposition to J. K Rowling’s remarks, he doesn’t intend it to be viewed as “infighting between Rowling and myself.” Katie Leung, the single Asian star in the Harry Potter series, responded to criticism of her character’s name with the tweet “So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread).” The thread included organizations and charities that supported black transgender people. It is great that popular celebrities are using their platform to help minorities such as the transgender community.