Actors and Actresses ︎◆ J. K. Rowling

“JK Rowling is on the wrong side”, says Evanna Lynch in open letter about transgenders

The actress Evanna Lynch, known among Harry Potter fans for portraying Luna Lovegood on the big screen, published last Thursday (9) an open letter answering JK Rowling declarations about the transgenders.

The text written by Evanna Lynch was published on Twitter, the social media where the polemic evolving the author started. On Saturday (06), JK Rowling published messages that were considered transphobic by the LGBT+ community and Harry Potter fans.

Evanna Lynch starts her text saying that she is sad to know that trans people do not feel accepted anymore inside the Harry Potter community.

“Feeling like you don’t fit in or aren’t accepted for who you are are the worst, most lonely feelings a human can experience and I won’t be helping to marginalize trans women and me further,” wrote Evanna Lynch.

The actress says that Twitter is not an adequate place to discuss “such a delicate” topic and she would like that Rowling would not have done it. She lets it clear, however, that she does not support the author’s declaration.

“I disagree with her opinion that cis-women are the most vulnerable minority in this situation and I think she’s on the wrong side of this debate. But that doesn’t mean she has completely lost her humanity.”

– Evanna Lynch

At the end of the text, Evanna Lynch says she is sorry for the trans community and ensures that she will make an effort to make the Harry Potter fandom inclusive and welcoming.

Read Evanna Lynch’s text

“I wanted to stay out of commenting on JKR’s tweets because it feels impossible to address this subject on Twitter, but I am so saddened to see trans people feeling abandoned by the HP community so here are my thoughts:

I imagine that being trans and learning to accept and love yourself is challenging enough, and we as a society should not be adding to that pain. Feeling like you don’t fit in or aren’t accepted for who you are are the worst, most lonely feelings a human can experience and I won’t be helping to marginalize trans women and me further. I applaud the immense bravery they show in embracing themselves and think we all should listen to their stories, especially as it is Pride Month. Personally, I don’t think Twitter is the right place to have this very complex conversation and we should be reading articles and memoirs, listening to podcasts, and having long-form conversations. I think it’s irresponsible to discuss such a delicate topic over Twitter through fragmented thoughts and I wish Jo wouldn’t.

That said, as a friend and admirer of Jo I can’t forget what a generous and loving person she is. I am sad to see fans reduce Jo to her tweets and seemingly dismiss her incredible philanthropic work and her determination to help humanity. I disagree with her opinion that cis-women are the most vulnerable minority in this situation and I think she’s on the wrong side of this debate. But that doesn’t mean she has completely lost her humanity.

Right now my mentions are a constant, toxic stream of people insulting and abusing each other and getting nowhere with each other. We need to take a break the cycle of bullying and shaming others. Amidst all I can’t stop thinking about a woman who, just a few months ago, was a bullied and publicly shamed by media and strangers online, and took her own life and how we all paused and said: ‘If you can be anything in this world, be kind’. Where is this desperately need kindness now????? Is it only for people we can agree with? I don’t believe ‘cancel culture’ is healthy for any of us. I actually think it’s a very shallow, painful and unrealistic approach to tackling humanity’s issues. As one friend said to me this morning: ‘If we left all our “different than us” friends behind, we’d just create more of an echo chamber which results in no change and no betterment for the world. We need to be friends with those who have different views so that we can help to share and understand more.’ I understand that JKR’s views are very hurtful to many, and that as a cis-woman I can’t fully fathom that particular pain and that it’s easier for someone like me to ask people to be kind. I think you absolutely should have your boundaries; block and move on. And save your energy for your loved ones and your work. But I do think victims of oppression can heal better from this by not carrying the energy of the oppressors forward to bully or have people on the other side of the debate.

I know so well what it feels like to find solace and a sense of belonging, a sense of ‘You’re not too weird to fit in here’ from Harry Potter and how important that influence was in helping me accept myself as a young person. I’m so sorry to any trans people who feel that’s been taken away or that this community is no longer that safe place. But the Harry Potter world/fandom/community is literally made up of millions of people now and I for one will work to make it feel inclusive because trans women are women.

I also think we should all be in therapy, not on Twitter tearing lumps out of one another. I hope everyone is taking space away from social media and prioritizing their mental health throughout this already very challenging time when many of us are isolated from our loved ones, because it is a lot, and it isn’t going to get resolved here. We need to do the inner work. I’m sending my love out to the trans community especially at this time. Personally, from all these discussions I’ve come to the realization that I need to be a more intersectional activist rather than solely focusing on veganism and I’m working on evolving that way. For now, I won’t be continuing this conversation any further on Twitter and will be offline learning to listen better.”

Read more about Evanna Lynch, JK Rowling, and Harry Potter on POTTERISH

Translated into English by Caroline Dorigon
Edited by Aline Michel