J.K. Rowling published a long rambling essay on her website to defend her ongoing social media attacks on transgender people, but it has been met with scorn and dismissal. Rowling’s excuses amount to little more than red herrings and complaints and a solid dose of female fragility tropes.
The actors who played characters in the movies and plays based on Rowling’s magical world, however, are forming their own version of Dumbledore’s Army to fight back against prejudice and lies.
Related: Bookstore trolls J.K. Rowling by donating money from her book sales to a transgender charity
Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter and is longtime supporter of the LGBTQ community, responded to Rowling through a statement posted to the Trevor Project website. The group supports LGBTQ youth and runs a suicide hotline.
“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,” Radcliffe says in the statement.
“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.”
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, also condemned Rowling’s tirade.
Watson 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.”
“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.”
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
Noma Dumezweni, who played a grown-up Hermione in the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, also waded in on Twitter. The actor rattled off a list of trans icons and added, “As I honour mine, and the trans friends in my life, I’ll defer to their lived experiences, not their erasure.”
“And these are just the women! There is magic in listening. This [world] has stories for millennia. I know You Know all this,” she tweeted.
Fantastic Beasts actor Eddie Redmayne quickly weighed in, telling Variety, “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.”
Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the series, also came out swinging on behalf of the trans community.
“I know so well what it’s like to find solace and a sense of belonging…from Harry Potter. I’m so sorry to any trans people who feel that’s been taken away or that this community is no longer that safe place,” she tweeted. “I think it’s irresponsible to discuss such a delicate topic over Twitter through fragmented thoughts and I wish Jo wouldn’t,” Lynch wrote. “I disagree with her opinion that cis-women are the most vulnerable minority in this situation and I think she’s on the wrong side of this debate.”
Here are my thoughts. Sending love to all. ❤️💜💗🧡💛💚🤎🖤🤍 pic.twitter.com/P30YHfnzBN
— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) June 9, 2020
But actor Katie Leung, who portrayed Cho Chang in the movies, may have had the snappiest reply of them all.
“So you want my thoughts on Cho Chang?” she tweeted. “Okay, here goes…”
What followed was a string of links to articles about transgender women of color.
— Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung) June 7, 2020
Bonnie Wright, the actor behind Ginny Weasley, also spoke out on Twitter, saying, “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.”
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