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The Harry Potter has remained a constant in pop culture since the books first hit shelves in the '90s. The Wizarding World has only continued to capture our attention over the years with two movie franchises, theme parks, and a Broadway play all expanding the property. These concepts come from the mind of J.K. Rowling, who recently got into some hot water online over conversations she made about transgender women. And now Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has responded to those comments, and put his support behind the trans community.
J.K. Rowling recently tweeted out a series of posts that the public, in particular the LGBTQIA+ community, found offensive. The comments debated what made someone a "woman" in binary terms that seemingly dismissed transgender women's validity. Some have gone so far as to call Rowling transphobic for her series of tweets, and now Daniel Radcliffe has responded to the ongoing controversy-- working with the Trevor Project in the process. He penned a response on the advocacy group's website, saying:
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 The 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.
Well, that was pretty cut and dry. This comment shows Daniel Radcliffe's continued support of the queer community, but specifically transgender folks in this instance. The trans community is one that consistently faces struggles and discrimination, with the Harry Potter actor helping to spread awareness as an ally.
Daniel Radcliffe's comments from The Trevor Project website will no doubt be comforting for LGBTQ folks who find solace in Harry Potter and his adventures. J.K. Rowling's comments have the potential to ruin that connection, especially for transgender fans out there. But while advocates will continue to challenge Rowling for her offensive posts on social media, seeing Harry Potter himself take a stand is a powerful statement.
Later in his comments, Daniel Radcliffe addresses those types of feelings for Harry Potter fans who may be thinking of abandoning the property and their childhood connection with the material. As the 30-year old actor put it,
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 Wizarding World has entertained people for decades, and is showing no real signs of slowing down. And while LGBTQIA+ folks and their allies may have an issue with J.K. Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe wants to encourage people to not let that change their perspective of Harry Potter books and movies. There are some great messages to take from Rowling's work, and the actor wants the public to be able to keep that connection in their hearts. Of course, there are bound to be a fair share of people who turn their back on the property.
Harry Potter's magical world will return to theaters when Fantastic Beasts 3 arrives. But the movie's production was delayed due to global health concerns, so its unclear if the movie will meet its intended release date. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.