It wasn’t easy being a Potterhead the last few days. If you have somehow missed it, the whole fandom and people on the Internet were left aghast when Harry Potter author JK Rowling went full TERF. It all happened when the British author shared an opinion piece about people who menstruate on Twitter and retorted, “People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Needless to say, it caused a massive uproar on Twitter and rightly so, after trans-right advocates pointed out the problematic nature of her tweets about gender identity. In today’s climate, Rowling’s far from inclusive words stirred up a whole lot of overwhelming emotions amongst HP fans and unfortunately, this is not the first time. As, a vivid reader and viewer of the magical franchise myself, it was nothing less than traumatic to see a legacy being tarnished and for reasons that don’t belong in the new world.
This is probably why ‘Harry’ couldn’t stop himself from highlighting just how grave this is and why it needs to be addressed. That’s right; actor Daniel Radcliffe has reacted to the entire episode in an empathetic blog he wrote for The Trevor Project, a non-profit devoted to suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.
He began with something that most of us are guilty of. “I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this 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.”
The star then went on to describe how such implications can deter the entire purpose of the fight for equality and stated, “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 even highlighted how 78% of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity and why it’s time that to join hands and support them transgender and non-binary people and not invalidate their identities.
“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” 👏
Thank you Daniel Radcliffe for all your support 💗https://t.co/C56gu10Fkk
— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) June 9, 2020
But it didn’t end there. Daniel knows that an apology is warranted and he went ahead and did the same on behalf of you-know-who. “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. 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,” he concluded.
And the best part is Harry is not the only one from the ‘Wizarding World’ who is fighting the good fight. Katie Leung, who played the character of Cho Chang, also tweeted, “So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes” which came with a thread about how one can contribute to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, cancelling Rowling’s views without even talking about her!
So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…(thread)
— Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung) June 7, 2020
As a Twitter user pointed out, ‘That’s such a Ravenclaw thing to do!’
While that is that, Rowling is still RT’ing and standing her ground, even justifying her stance as ‘truth’ as opposed to the lived experience of those that she failed in her initial tweet. “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,” she wrote.
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
Cover Image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India