“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote in an essay on the website of The Trevor Project, an organisation that helps at-risk LGBTQ youth.
“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.”
His essay comes after Rowling mocked a headline referring to “people who menstruate” and sarcastically wondered aloud: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Then, she added:
Radcliffe also said he was “deeply sorry” to Harry Potter fans who feel “tarnished or diminished” by Rowling’s comments.
“I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you,” he wrote, saying he hopes Rowling’s words don’t taint the message of love in the books.
“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,” he wrote. “And in my opinion, nobody can touch that.”
Radcliffe is a longtime supporter of the Trevor Project and in 2011 was honoured with the organisation’s Hero Award.
Rowling has been under fire for her transphobic comments in the past, including last year when she came out in support of a woman fired for saying people can’t change gender identity:
The Human Rights Campaign fired back: