Here Are All the ‘Harry Potter’ Stars Who Have Responded to JK Rowling’s Transphobia
This post is also available in: Español
JK Rowling took a hammer to our childhoods sometime in the past few years by exposing herself as a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and has since decided Pride Month 2020 would be the perfect time to double down on her hateful comments. Facing backlash from a series of ignorant tweets, Jo took to writing a manifesto on the topic on her personal webpage, tweeting the link with only the title “TERF wars.” Her harmful perspective does not bear repeating here — or anywhere, for that matter — but it has been refreshing to see so many Harry Potter stars distance themselves from JK Rowling’s transphobia and respond with individual eloquence, nuance and thoughtfulness.
Here’s a roundup of what several Harry Potter stars had to say about JK Rowling’s transphobia:
1. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project focuses on crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. With both grace and sensitivity, Daniel Radcliffe penned a beautiful response to JK Rowling’s transphobia, noting that any assertion that transwomen are anything but women “goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or [himself].”
Daniel goes on to remind readers of the immense discrimination transgender and nonbinary folk face, that it is our duty to support them, and that there are always ways to educate ourselves and become better allies.
Lastly, and I’m sure these words will come as a comfort to those of us who rightfully feel betrayed and angered by JK Rowling’s transphobia, Daniel — most prominent of all the Harry Potter stars — writes: “If these books taught you that … strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups … then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred.”
2. Katie Leung (Cho Chang)
So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread)
— Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung) June 7, 2020
In a flawless bait-and-switch move worthy of Ravenclaw, Katie Leung seemingly started a thread about Cho Chang, then dropped a link for the Homeless Black Trans women fund. Sometimes effective activism can be as simple as opening your wallet.
3. Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts films)
Eddie Redmayne spoke exclusively to Variety about his support and respect for the trans community. He said, “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid,” going on to note that while speaking on behalf of the community would be inappropriate, the constant harassment of transfolk is exhausting.
4. Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
Here are my thoughts. Sending love to all. ❤️💜💗🧡💛💚🤎🖤🤍 pic.twitter.com/P30YHfnzBN
— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) June 9, 2020
Probably the most complicated of the cast responses, Evanna Lynch posted a four-note tweet about the issue, prefacing her response with a disclaimer: “It feels impossible to address this subject on Twitter.” While Evanna does eventually assert that trans women are women, the statement is lost in what appears to be an attempt at diplomacy — yet comes off lukewarm and spineless. She writes that Rowling is on the “wrong side of the debate,” positing the view that trans identities and lives are up for debate.
They are not.
Evanna’s focus on Rowling’s generosity, and her contention that those who are harmed by bigoted and hateful comments heal better through kindness and understanding, are completely inappropriate. It is not allyship to dictate how trans and nonbinary folk respond when faced with blatant disrespect.
Currently, Evanna Lynch’s mentions are filled with (rightfully) disappointed fans.
5. Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Straight to the point, Emma Watson followed up her support for transfolk with donations to two incredible organizations: Mermaids, which has provided support, education and understanding for trans youth and their families since 1995, and Mama Cash, the oldest international feminist fund.
6. Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
If Harry Potter was a source of love and belonging for you, that love is infinite and there to take without judgment or question. Transwomen are Women. I see and love you, Bonnie x
— Bonnie Wright (@thisisbwright) June 10, 2020
Much like Daniel, Bonnie Wright acknowledged the deeply rooted love so many of us have for Harry Potter, and reminded the public that transwomen are women.
While it is apparent that JK Rowling’s transphobia makes her unworthy of the series and characters she created, I think it’s safe to say that the kids are alright.
7. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley)
The actor released a statement to UK paper The Times responding to JK Rowling’s transphobia, making it clear he supports the trans community.
“I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men,” he said. “We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”