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Daniel Radcliffe's Lengthy Response To JK Rowling's Controversial Comments On Gender Identity

The boy who lived speaks up.
IMAGE Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

On Saturday, Harry Potter author JK Rowling made headlines for criticizing an opinion piece published by website Devex, a media platform for the global development community, that used the phrase people who menstruate.'" (via @reportr.world

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

She also tweeted as a follow-up, "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."

The author has a long history of receiving criticism for her tweets on issues involving the LGBTQ community, as well as using "queerbaiting" as a tool to gain popularity.

Many advocate groups and experts called out the author on social media, including 'joyful activist'group The Harry Potter Alliance, an org that develops "compassionate, skillful leaders who learn to approach our world’s problems with joy, creativity, and commitment to equity."

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GLAAD also released a series of statements on their Twitter page. "We stand with trans youth, especially those Harry Potter fans hurt by her inaccurate and cruel tweets. Our friend
@jackisnotabird says it best," they wrote, while linking a piece written by the tagged NY Times op-ed writer.

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And now the Harry Potter star himself wrote a lengthy, enlightening response on the Trevor Project’s website.

Daniel Radcliffe starts of by saying his response isn't meant to be interpreted 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. 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. 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.

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"I am still learning how to be a better ally, so if you want to join me in learning more about transgender and nonbinary identities check out The Trevor Project’s Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth."

He also acknowledged how JK Rowling's tweets may have affected fans, "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."

Read his full statement here.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

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Ysabel Y. Yuzon
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