Emma Watson Tweets Support for Transgender Community Following J.K. Rowling Backlash
By Liz Calvario
David M. Benett/Getty Images for Lumos
Emma Watson is sending a message to her transgender fans following the backlash J.K. Rowling has received for comments she made this weekend that have been labeled transphobic. The Harry Potter actress took to Twitter on Wednesday to send a poignant message about letting transgender people live their lives without "being constantly questioned."
"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 began, without ever naming Rowling. "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."
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.
Watson's comments come after the 54-year-old Harry Potter scribe was heavily criticized for replying to an article talking about "people who menstruate," joking that there "used to be a word" for those people. After being slammed on social media by members and allies of the transgender community, the British author clarified her position, tweeting, "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."
This comment garnered even more backlash, and led to Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne and more stars speaking out against Rowling's remarks.
Radcliffe penned an essay posted to the website for The Trevor Project explaining that, while Rowling 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," he continued. "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."
"On Saturday morning, I read that the Scottish government is proceeding with its controversial gender recognition plans, which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one. To use a very contemporary word, I was ‘triggered,’" she began.
Rowling then explained that she was "ground down by the relentless attacks from trans activists on social media," and then spent "much of Saturday in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my twenties recurred on a loop."
The writer added that she did not wish to "garner sympathy" with her sexual assault revelation, but rather to show "solidarity" with women who have similar histories, "who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces."