No one asked for “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s opinions on trans people, but that didn’t stop her from sharing her opinion with the world on Twitter earlier this week.
On June 6, while many people in the country were protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, Rowling thought it was a good time to unleash these opinions involving the trans community -- to her 14.5 million Twitter followers.
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Twitter erupted with people furious at Rowling for choosing that very moment to share her views, and many people began to call her a TERF, which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”
It’s a group of women who don’t believe that trans women are actually women.
Since then, Rowling has doubled down on her views, and has caused some of the stars of the movie versions of her books to speak out in support of the trans community, especially those who grew up adoring Rowling’s beloved series.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter himself, was the first star to make a statement on the matter. His thoughts were long, but to many “Harry Potter” fans, his words were very comforting.
“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote in an essay for The Trevor Project. “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.”
He also wrote a touching part that was specifically for hurt fans of the books.
“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,” Radcliffe wrote. “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 that is sacred. And in my opinion, nobody can touch that.”
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, tweeted out in support of the trans community.
I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
“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,” Watson tweeted. “I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.”
In addition to Watson and Radcliffe showing support to the trans community, Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, tweeted a loving statement to those who are hurting.
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
“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,” Wright wrote.
Even Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, who is currently starring in the new Wizarding World film series “Fantastic Beasts,” had something to say about Rowling’s comments.
“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said in a statement to Variety. “This is an ongoing process.”
“As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand,” he said. “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
It wouldn’t be surprising if more stars from both film series start speaking out more, especially if Rowling decided to add more fuel to the fire.
While there are many other things happening in the world right now, it’s still shocking to “Harry Potter” fans who grew up reading the books, especially the queer and trans fans who felt a connection to the magical world of “Harry Potter" and are now stunned at Rowling’s comments.