Harry Potter star Harry Melling declares ‘trans women are women and trans men are men’
Harry Potter star Harry Melling has come out swinging for trans rights, declaring “transgender women are women and transgender men are men”.
Melling starred in the Harry Potter films as the titular wizard’s bratty cousin Dudley Dursley, who is spoiled by his non-magical parents and bullies Potter among others.
But Melling declared in a recent interview that he has no patience for those who persecute trans people for being their authentic selves.
He was questioned about his stance in the debate over Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s anti-trans views. He shared that he stands alongside his fellow Harry Potter castmates – including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – in stating trans people deserve respect, dignity and the ability to live as their authentic selves free from discrimination.
“I can only speak for myself, and what I feel, to me, is very simple, which is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men,” Melling told the Independent. “Every single person has the right to choose who they are and to identify themselves as what’s true to themselves.”
He added: “I don’t want to join the debate of pointing fingers and saying, ‘That’s right, that’s wrong’, because I don’t think I’m the correct spokesperson for that. But I do believe that everybody has the right to choose.”
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Rowling faced considerable backlash in recent years for her comments on the trans community.
The Harry Potter author came under fire in 2019 for supporting a woman who pursued legal action to have gender-critical views protected under the UK’s Equality Act, and she has continued to support the anti-trans activist.
The following year, in a June 2020 tweet, Rowling responded to an op-ed that discussed “people who menstruate”.
She heavily criticised the phrasing of the article and wrote: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
After receiving waves of backlash, Rowling published her now-infamous essay on her website where she detailed her views on trans lives.
In the years since, the author continued to spout anti-trans rhetoric and even labelled Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon a “destroyer of women’s rights” because the politician supported legislation that would improve the lives of trans people.
Radcliffe recently opened up about how meeting so many LGBTQ+ kids, who were fans of Harry Potter, inspired him to denounce Rowling’s harmful comments about the community.
“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, 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,” he said.
“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.”
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