Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe defends transgender women after JK Rowling controversy

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has weighed in on author JK Rowling's recent controversial comments seen as anti-transgender.

Daniel Radcliffe Source: Bang Showbiz

Radcliffe played the titular character in the eight-movie franchise, becoming the face of the series.

On Sunday, Rowling took aim at an opinion piece on a news website which referred to "people who menstruate".

"I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" Rowling wrote on Twitter.

When commenters raised concerns that her words could be seen as excluding transgender people, she doubled down.

"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased," she wrote.

"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."

The comments have been criticised as excluding transgender and intersex people who also menstruate, which the opinion piece included.

Today Radcliffe voiced his own concerns in a blog post on The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention organisation for LGBT people.

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He said he didn't want it to seem like in-fighting between himself and Rowling, but he felt "compelled" to speak.

"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," he wrote.

"According to The Trevor Project, 78 per cent 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."

Radcliffe pointed to the message of love spread within the Harry Potter books, saying he was "deeply sorry for the pain" the comments have caused for people whose "experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished".

"I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you," Radcliffe says.

"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."