She may have penned the beloved Harry Potter novels, but that doesn’t mean that J.K. Rowling’s devoted audience, or Daniel Radcliffe who starred in the film adapation of her books, won’t call her out. The famed author recently came under fire for tweets that some stated were transphobic. J.K. Rowling shared a link to an article titled, “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate,” and then joked in the caption, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
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Some believed that she was taking a jab at the transgender community, so Rowling expounded on her initial thought. “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.“
A few more tweets later, and Rowling was quickly being criticized for what the public called transphobic comments. Daniel Radcliffe responded to J.K. Rowling and her controversial tweets by penning an op-ed piece for The Trevor Project, an organization that Radcliffe has worked alongside for quite some time, writing that “transgender women are women.”
“I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now,” he stated. “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 The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.”
“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,” Daniel Radcliffe added. “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.” Do you believe that Rowling was being transphobic?