Rupert Grint on why he spoke out against JK Rowling’s transphobic comments: “It’s important to stand up for what you believe in”

The 'Harry Potter' author faced backlash for transphobic tweets and 3,000-word essay

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint has explained why he spoke out against JK Rowling’s transphobic comments last year.

The author mocked an article with the phrase “people who menstruate” in its headline, implying that you can only be classed as a woman if you menstruate. Days later, she published a 3,000-word essay titled JK Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking Out on Sex and Gender Issues.

Grint, along with co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, was among those to criticise Rowling. “Trans women are women,” he wrote. “Trans men are men.”

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In a new interview, he told the Times that he “wanted to get some kindness out there”. “Social media can start conversations but if you put your opinions out there, you can get bombarded,” he said.

“I do think it’s still important to stand up for what you believe in, and for people and communities that need our support and love. That’s why I spoke out last year, I wanted to get some kindness out there.”

JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling. CREDIT: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

In the essay she shared in June, Rowling claimed that she might have considered transitioning to a man if the science had more accessible 30 years ago.

King Princess also criticised the writer at the time, saying on Instagram: “Do you see that by talking you are refusing to listen to a group of people are being murdered, beaten, and left unprotected by the law everyday. Because I know, and so many others know that you, as a white cisgender woman, have had a lot more years of systematic privilege and power than trans folks.

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“Separating cis women from trans women is exactly what allows this systematic privilege/hierarchy to continue. So please ask yourself why you are talking, why you are disrupting this movement with your confusing words, and why, as a writer, you feel the need to attack a group of people who most likely sustained your business for many years.”

Speaking to NME last year, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace spoke about Rowling’s transphobic comments. “When it comes down to it, you’re a children’s book author and you don’t have any grounds to speak on the transgender experience because you don’t know anything about it,” she said.

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