“Transgender Women Are Women”: Daniel Radcliffe Speaks Out on Gender Identity
Radcliffe noted from the onset of his statement that he did not want his decision to speak out on the issue to be construed as “in-fighting” between himself and Rowling. As Albus Dumbledore pointed out in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends,” and Radcliffe made clear that any inference of controversy would only distract from what he feels is most important about his message as a longtime supporter of the Trevor Project.
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 [t]he Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.
Radcliffe made his stance clear, noting that he – as are many throughout the world – is still learning to be a better ally to transgender and nonbinary individuals. He urged anyone wanting to become better informed to review the Trevor Project’s “A Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.”
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 [t]he 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.
In the months since Rowling first expressed her views regarding gender identity on Twitter – and now again over the course of the past week – transgender and nonbinary fans of the Potter series have taken to social media to express their devastation. Many have stated they feel there is no longer a place for them in the fandom, and Radcliffe had moving words for them and all fans who have formed deeply personal connections with the novels.
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.
The Trevor Project, founded in 1998, offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth under the age of 25. To learn more about the site’s mission and discover additional resources, visit www.thetrevorproject.org. The organization operates a 24-hour hotline at 1-866-488-7386. Confidential text messaging is also available by texting START to 678-678.