Daniel Radcliffe gestures wildly on the red carpet for The Lost City while people laugh in the background

Daniel Radcliffe Shared Why It Was Important for Him to Speak Out Against J.K. Rowling

Back in 2020, following J.K. Rowling jumping headfirst into transphobia, the Boy Who Lived himself, Daniel Radcliffe, spoke out against her comments. He would be the first of the Golden Trio to solidly ally themselves with the trans community. In speaking with IndieWire, he explained why he felt like speaking out was so important.

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As someone who worked with The Trevor Project, when Rowling released her anti-trans comments, Radcliffe used his platform and status to loudly say on their site, “Transgender women are women.” He continued, “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.”

At the beginning of his statement, he made sure to clarify that this wasn’t about creating a feud between himself and Rowling. It was instead about affirming the identity of trans people and that health care professionals were the ones with the expertise folks should listen to.

To IndieWire, the actor explained that his decision was because of the LGBTQ fans who look up to Harry Potter and himself as a proxy of that hero. “The reason I was 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,” he explained. “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.”

He continued, “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.”

Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, has also spoken out in favor of trans rights. In an interview with Esquire, he explained, “Sometimes silence is even louder. I felt like I had to because I think it was important too. I mean, I don’t want to talk about all that … Generally, I’m not an authority on the subject. Just out of kindness, and just respecting people. I think it’s a valuable group that I think needs standing up for.”

Emma Watson, getting more backlash than Grint or Radcliffe for the whole situation, tweeted, “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.”

While some older actors in the Harry Potter franchise have fumbled this conversation, focusing on the harassment that Rowling has faced rather than the harm she is actively causing, other younger stars like Eddie Redmayne, Bonnie Wright, Katie Leung, Evanna Lynch, and Katherine Waterston all defended the trans community. Waterston was in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and her role was non-existent in the most recent movie, which followed her comments against Rowling.

As someone who has stepped away from Harry Potter, it does make me feel good to know that the Golden Trio and many of the young actors who I deeply admired growing up have spoken up and out about this issue.

(via Variety, featured image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.