Actor Daniel Radcliffe has shared a touching statement via The Trevor Project—a nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth—affirming his support of the trans community and offering hope to fans who’ve been hurt by Rowling’s words. The actor started by declaring that this is not “in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself,” noting how he owes much of his success to the Harry Potter film franchise. Rather, it’s a statement of solidarity with the trans community, a rebuke of anti-trans hostility (like Rowling’s), and a renewed commitment to his work with the nonprofit group.
“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,” he wrote. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
He also added a note to Harry Potter fans who’ve felt disillusioned in the wake of Rowling’s comments—for example, some folks have posted photos of them covering up Harry Potter tattoos with other artwork. For a long time, people have discussed separating art from the creator—there’s a fear in some fans that continuing to enjoy something may excuse abhorrent behavior from the creator. It’s certainly a discussion worth having and something folk need to decide on their own. However, Radcliffe treats it as reclaiming Harry Potter, expressing support for the LGBTQ+ fandom and the inclusive messages taken away from the books and movies.
“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. 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.”
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