More stars show support for trans community after J.K. Rowling tweets

Stars connected to J.K. Rowling’s movie adaptations have spoken out in support of the trans and gender diverse community, in response to the author’s transphobic tweets this week.

Rowling took to social media earlier this week to question an article that cited “people who menstruate”, and today released a 3,600 essay on her website declaring she “won’t back down”, and defending her trans-exclusionary feminist stance.

Daniel Radcliffe joined with LGBTIQ+ support and suicide prevention organisation The Trevor Project to show his support for the trans and gender diverse communities after Rowling’s initial tweets, and now more stars have shared their sentiments.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson tweeted in solidarity with trans folks, and directed her followers to trans and gender diverse support organisations.

“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,” Watson wrote.

“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.”

Eddie Redmayne, star of Rowling’s second film franchise Fantastic Beasts, who also appeared as trans pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, also shared his thoughts.

“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said in a statement.

“As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand.”

“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.”

The US’ peak LGBTIQ+ media organisation GLAAD have also responded to Rowling’s lengthy essay.

“It seems J.K. is good at only one thing: writing fantasy. Her misinformed and dangerous missive about transgender people flies in the face of medical and psychological experts and devalues trans people accounts of their own lives,” the statement read.

“She is sowing divisiveness in a time when real leaders are driving toward unity. And to all the trans and cisgender youth raised on her books who are now loudly speaking up in support of the trans people you know and love, you are the future and we can’t wait to read and watch the beautiful art you will create.”

As for Rowling’s exception to the phrase “people who menstruate”, one of the article’s authors, Colombia University’s Marni Sommer, told The Sydney Morning Herald that the phrase was developed in collaboration with activists, researchers, UN agencies, governments and non-government organisations.

“It emerged from some careful work that has been done in recent years in the menstrual community to be more inclusive of everyone who menstruates.”

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