Daniel Radcliffe speaks up in support of transgender, nonbinary persons
MANILA, Philippines — Daniel Radcliffe, who made his on-screen debut playing the flawed but brave Harry Potter, penned a statement assuring transgender and nonbinary persons of his support, after JK Rowling’s series of anti-trans tweets.
In a statement released through the Trevor Project, Radcliffe said: “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.”
The Trevor Project, which Radcliffe has been supporting, is US-based organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
Rowling is the author and creator of the Harry Potter series, which has since spawned a vast book and movie universe. Radcliffe was only 13 when he was cast to play the titular role in a series that follows the adventures of a young wizard as he battles an intolerant, hateful, and powerful wizard.
That the Harry Potter books talks about the value of diversity when its author is turning out to be exclusionary was not lost on Radcliffe. “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,” he wrote.
“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,” he said.
He added: “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."
Fans of the series have been up in arms following Rowling’s tweets.
Radcliffe began his statement by pointing out that some media outlets are likely to pit him and Rowling against each other. “But that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now,” he said.
The actor also called on readers and fans to learn more about transgender and nonbinary identities via Trevor Project’s resources, even as he himself “learns how to be a better ally.” – Rappler.com