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'Harry Potter' star backs transgender rights

June 9, 2020

Actor Daniel Radcliffe has thrown his weight behind transgender rights, saying: "Transgender women are women." He was responding to comments made by "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, which critics called transphobic.

(L-R) Daniel Radcliffe, JK Rowling, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint at the world premiere of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.  Archive photo from 2011.
Image: picture alliance/empics

British actor Daniel Radcliffe, famous for playing pubescent wizard Harry Potter in the hit film series, expressed support on Tuesday for transgender rights a week after the books' author J.K. Rowling tweeted remarks that angered some transgender activists.

"Transgender women are women," said Radcliffe in a statement published by The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention program helping LGBT+ youth.

"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."

The actor also apologized to Harry Potter fans who were offended by Rowling's remarks.

"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," he said.

'People who menstruate'

Last week, Rowling quoted a headline in a tweet that read: "people who menstruate."

"I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," she wrote. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Critics accused her of transphobia. However, Rowling pushed back against the criticism, saying she supports transgender people but wanted to acknowledge that "sex is real and has lived consequences."

"I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans," she tweeted. "At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

Rowling has previously come under fire for similar remarks defending the notion of biological sex, although she has similarly rejected the allegations.

ls/msh (Reuters, AFP)

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