Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes distances herself from JK Rowling as she urges people not to be ‘fascist’ about gender

Former Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes

Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes has distanced herself from JK Rowling’s “conservative” views about trans people, urging people not to be “fascist” about gender.

The prominent lesbian actress, who played Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series, added her voices to those of film’s cast members who have challenged Rowling’s frequent remarks about transgender people.

Miriam Margolyes says people shouldn’t be so ‘fascist’ about trans people.

In an interview with The Times, Margolyes said of Rowling: “I know what has happened… She has a rather conservative view of transgender people. I don’t think I do.”

Of anti-trans rhetoric, she added: “I can’t make it out. It’s a matter of personal happiness for people and I think that’s what you should concentrate on.

“If you seriously want to become a woman you should be allowed to. You can’t be fascist about it. I think it’s confusing.”

Miriam Margolyes poses with Peter Rabbit

Miriam Margolyes poses with Peter Rabbit (Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Margolyes also recalled that her since-deceased former Latin tutor Agatha, who she regularly corresponded with, had come out to her as trans while continuing to live a dual life in public as a married Oxford don.

The actress recalled: “I thought [she] was going to tell me [she] was in love with me, but [she] said, ‘I want to be a woman. I was always meant to be a woman.’

“I have had always that quality that people have thought they can talk to me and I think I had it then. He was a darling and he was married but he wanted to be a woman. [She] said, ‘I want to cut this pole off.'”

Harry Potter stars have distanced themselves from JK Rowling.

Many Harry Potter cast members have placed their support for trans rights on the record due to Rowling’s repeated interventions, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright and Katie Leung – as well as Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne.

In one of her most recent outburst, Rowling claimed without any evidence that “young people struggling with their mental health are being shunted towards hormones and surgery”.

In a Twitter thread last week, Rowling added: “Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”

The bizarre, evidence-free claims from the author – who has not once supported efforts to ban actual, still-ongoing conversion therapy – was condemned by more than a hundred parents of transgender children, who released messages denouncing the suggestion they are homophobes.