Daniel Radcliffe speaks up for trans kids: ‘Very rarely do we actually hear from these youth’

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe has spoken up for trans youth, urging people to listen to young transgender individuals when discussing their rights and existence.

The Harry Potter star, an outspoken advocate for trans rights, is involved in a new video series with US not-for-profit support group The Trevor Project, called Sharing Space.

In its first episode, he hosts a discussion with a panel of trans youth.

“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,” Radcliffe, who announced earlier this week that he is to be a father fo the first time, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It was an absolute privilege to get to meet and listen to this incredible group of young people. 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.”

Radcliffe has previously spoken of his support for trans people, saying that his work on the Harry Potter films led to him to encounter many young LGBTQ+ people who strongly identified with the franchise and its messages.

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He first spoke in 2020 in a direct response to JK Rowling’s comments on trans rights, crediting her with some of the success he’d experienced in his career, but also saying he felt compelled to speak up for trans people.

“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 healthcare associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo [Rowling] or [me],” he said at the time.

He later told IndieWire he spoke up because he “wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way [as Rowling does]. And that was really important”.

In a trailer for the series, 33-year-old Daniel Radcliffe says: “There are some people in the world who are not trying to engage with this conversation in any good faith. I think it’s because a lot of people don’t know a young trans person, so there’s just this theoretical idea in their head.”

Trans youth ‘forced to stand by’

The Trevor Project series has been made to “turn the microphone toward LGBTQ+ young people themselves and let them speak directly about their lives”, says the organisation’s vice-president of brand and content, Megan Stowe, in a statement.

“LGBTQ+ young people, particularly transgender and non-binary youth, are routinely forced to stand by and watch adults debate their very existence and life experiences,” she adds.

“Our society has created boxes that young people are expected to fit in to, when we should be giving them the space and autonomy to figure out who they are on their own.”

Each 20-minute episode will be released quarterly, and will focus on a different theme, include a panel and feature a new host.

The first episode will premiere on YouTube on 31 March, to coincide with this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility.

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