Daniel Radcliffe honored Transgender Day of Visibility on Friday by reaffirming his longtime support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The “Harry Potter” actor recently joined a group of six young transgender and nonbinary people to facilitate a heartfelt discussion about LGBTQ+ rights and allyship. Footage of the chat was released by the Trevor Project this week as the premiere episode of its “Sharing Space” video series.
Describing the experience as “an absolute privilege,” Radcliffe said in a statement, “We listen to so many people talk about trans youth and hear them talked about so often in the news, but very rarely do we actually hear from these youth directly.”
He added, “At the end of the day if you’re going to talk about trans kids, it might be useful to actually listen to trans kids.”
Watch “Sharing Space” with Daniel Radcliffe below.
During the chat, Radcliffe addresses those who maintain “condescending” attitudes toward trans and nonbinary youth, as well as people who “self-refer” to themselves as LGBTQ+ allies without fully embodying that support in their everyday life.
“Obviously, there are some people in the world who are just not trying to engage with this conversation in any kind of good faith,” he explains. “I think a lot of the time it’s just because people don’t know a young trans person, so there’s just this theoretical idea about this in their head.”
Much of that reticence, he said, can shift with simply taking the time to educate yourself: “So much of the world hinges on a gender binary.”
Radcliffe’s remarks come as “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is once again sparking controversy for incendiary remarks on the transgender community. In a new podcast, “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling,” she describes the trans rights movement as “being illiberal in its methods and questionable in its ideas,” adding: “I believe, absolutely, that there is something dangerous about this movement and that it must be challenged.”
Though Radcliffe has credited Rowling with being “unquestionably responsible for the course” of his career by creating the character of Harry Potter, he’s nonetheless distanced himself from the author’s transphobic views on more than one occasion. Prior to “Sharing Space,” he’s had a working relationship with The Trevor Project, an advocacy group dedicated to helping at-risk LGBTQ+ youth, for more than a decade.
“The reason I was felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was that, particularly since finishing ‘Potter,’ I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” the actor told IndieWire last year when asked about his decision to speak out against Rowling’s comments. “And so seeing them hurt on that day, I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”