Daniel Radcliffe has publicly responded to JK Rowling's latest controverisial tweets about trans people, declaring that "trans women are women".
The Harry Potter actor, 30, added that "any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people" as he released a message through LGBTQ suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project.
Radcliffe added he hoped Rowling's comments would not "taint" the Harry Potter series for fans, pointedly remarking that the books about the boy wizard fighting dark forces taught many that "dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups".
Radcliffe's comments come after Rowling sparked an angry online backlash over the weekend after mocking an article for using trans-inclusive language.
"‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?", Rowling tweeted, before later implying that trans people were "erasing the concept of sex".
In response, Radcliffe wrote: "I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now.
"While Jo 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. 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."
The actor, who is a longtime LGBTQ advocate, continued: "According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.
"I am still learning how to be a better ally, so if you want to join me in learning more about transgender and nonbinary identities check out The Trevor Project’s Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.
"It’s an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics, including the differences between sex and gender, and shares best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people."
Radcliffe went on to apologise for the "pain" Rowling's comments had caused many Harry Potter fans, who have often found solace in the books' core themes of acceptance and the battle against oppression and prejudice.
"To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you", Radcliffe wrote.
"If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; 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.
"And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.
"Love always, Dan."
If you want to show solidarity with the trans community, visit Mermaids UK for more information and to help support gender-diverse kids, young people and their families.