J.K. Rowling wrote a lengthy essay defending previous statements she made that have been widely condemned as transphobic

By Ally Mauch
June 13, 2020 12:10 PM
Advertisement
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images; Karwai Tang/WireImage; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Harry Potter stars have spoken out in support of transgender rights following J.K. Rowling’s controversial essay that has been widely condemned as transphobic.

Actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, issued a statement in response to Rowling’s 3,600-word essay.

“I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men,” Grint, 31, said, according to U.K.'s The Sunday Times. “We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”

Also, Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the movie franchise based on Rowling’s popular book series, expressed her support in a Twitter thread earlier this week.

“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,” the actress, 30, shared. “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.”

In her essay, Rowling, 54, wrote that as an advocate for women's and children's rights, "I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it."

Stating that she's a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse, she added, "So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman...then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside."

J.K. Rowling
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis quickly responded to the piece, calling it a "misinformed and dangerous missive about transgender people" that "flies in the face of medical and psychological experts and devalues trans people accounts of their own lives."

The essay, published on Wednesday, was written in defense of statements Rowling had previously made on Twitter that seemed to ignore the distinction between sex and gender.

Retweeting a Devex article titled "Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate," Rowling wrote, "‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

RELATED VIDEO: Daniel Radcliffe Says He's 'Deeply Sorry for the Pain' Caused by J.K. Rowling's Tweets on Gender Identity

Recently, Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as the titular teenage wizard in the Harry Potter movies, responded to Rowling's tweets in a short essay for The Trevor Project.

Radcliffe, 30, stated definitively in the article that "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," Radcliffe wrote.

"According to The Trevor Project, 78 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity," he continued. "It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."

Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright also spoke out, writing, "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"

And Eddie Redmayne, the star of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie franchise, told Variety in a statement, “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.”