Daniel Radcliffe “Needed” to Go Against J.K. Rowling’s Transphobia

Daniel Radcliffe is shedding more light on his decision to speak out against J.K. Rowling‘s dangerous transphobic remarks.

While speaking to IndieWire this week, the former Harry Potter lead opened up about why it was so personally important for him to use his voice and his platform to affirm trans fans of the series. “The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing Potter, I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” said Daniel, referencing the open letter he penned to fans in 2020 in partnership with The Trevor Project. “And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”

ICYMI: Back in 2020, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling sparked outrage after posting a series of anti-trans tweets. She doubled down on her comments a few days later in a lengthy, controversial essay published to her website. (Rowling has since reiterated and defended her transphobic ideology a dozen times over, with many claiming that she has tarnished her legacy with her transphobia and pointed transmisogyny.) 

Shortly after Rowling’s transphobic thread and essay, Daniel Radcliffe published his own response on The Trevor Project‘s website, clearly communicating his support of the transgender and nonbinary community.

“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,” Daniel began the open letter. “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… It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

Daniel continued the letter by expressing he was “still learning how to be a better ally,” pointing readers to additional resources and support. His conclusion addressed Harry Potter fans directly: “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.”

Now, reflecting on the letter two years later, Daniel still feels as though it was absolutely necessary to speak up. “It was really important as I’ve worked with the Trevor Project for more than 10 years, and so I don’t think I would’ve been able to look myself in the mirror had I not said anything,” he said to IndieWire. “But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”

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