In a blog post for the LGBTQ nonprofit The Trevor Project, Daniel Radcliffe tactfully disagreed with J.K. Rowling, who has a habit of tweeting support of TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, ideas.
On Saturday, the author shared an article referring to a more equitable post-COVID-19 world for “people who menstruate,” taking issue with the phrase. “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” After receiving backlash in the replies, she doubled down in subsequent tweets.
Rowling has faced criticism from the trans community in the past. Last year she faced a similar Twitter backlash after coming to the defense of a researcher whose contract wasn't renewed because she advanced "absolutist" theories on gender.
"Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you," Rowling tweeted. "Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?"
In his blog post, Radcliffe was tactful. “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,” he writes.
Later, he gets to the heart of the issue: “Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe writes. “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 cites statistics that 78 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth are subject to discrimination, and provides links to Trevor Project’s guide to being a better trans ally.
Radcliffe also discusses how readers’ relationship to the Harry Potter franchise should supersede their feelings toward its author or stars. “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,” Radcliffe writes. “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”