Emma Watson speaks out in support of transgender community amid JK Rowling row

"Little Women" World Premiere

Emma Watson has become the latest figure to speak out in support of transgender people, after author JK Rowling sparked a row with her comments on the issue.

The actress, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, joined Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne in publicly disagreeing with Rowling, 54.

Watson, 30, addressed her transgender followers in a string of posts on Twitter.

She said: "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are.

"I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are."

Watson urged her followers to donate to the Mermaids charity, which helps transgender children, and the feminist fund Mama Cash.

She added: "I donate to @Mermaids_Gender and @mamacash. If you can, perhaps you'll feel inclined to do the same."

Last weekend, Rowling took issue with a headline on an online article discussing "people who menstruate", and said: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

And in December last year she voiced her support for a researcher who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.

Critics accused her of being transphobic, an allegation Rowling strongly denies.

On Wednesday, Rowling shared a lengthy blog post on her website, in which she revealed that she was partly motivated to speak out because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

In the post, she detailed five reasons she felt the need to talk about the issue – including her interest in "both education and safeguarding" and "freedom of speech".

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Actress Emma Watson attends the premiere of "Little Women" at the Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Emma Watson, shoe detail, attends the world premiere of "Little Women" at Museum of Modern Art on December 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage,)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Hadley Robinson, James Norton, Louis Garrel, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, Emma Watson, Tracy Letts, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, and Chris Cooper attend the world premiere of "Little Women" at Museum of Modern Art on December 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage,)
Oubliez Hermione Granger, la sorcière intello de la saga « Harry Potter », et découvrez Emma Watson, aujourd’hui âgée de 29 ans, reine du tapis rouge. Dix ans ou presque après la fin de la saga, l’actrice s’émancipe avec des rôles de femmes fortes. Emma Watson choisit ses rôles méticuleusement, et ne fait pas plus d’un film par an. Son dernier choix en date : le film « Les Quatre Filles du Docteur March », adapté du classique de la littérature de Louisa May Alcott. Une œuvre qui a déjà adaptée à quatre reprises au cinéma, dont la dernière version, réalisée par Gillian Armstrong en 1994, avec Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst et Claire Danes.A quelques jours de la sortie du film, dans lequel elle donne la réplique à Saoirse Ronan et Laura Dern, sous la direction de Greta Gerwig, Emma Watson a fait sensation sur le red carpet de l’avant-première, dimanche soir, à New York. A cette occasion, l’actrice était sublime dans une robe signée Balenciaga, accompagnée de cuissardes en velours. Un look ensorcelant. A ses côtés, on a aperçu le casting du film bien sûr, dont le Français Louis Garrel, qui tient le rôle de Friedrich Bhaer. Une invitée surprise s’est fait remarquer, la femme politique Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, connue pour être la plus jeune candidate jamais élue au Congrès américain.Découvrez les images de l'avant-première de « Les Quatre Filles du Docteur March ».
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Left to right, James Norton, Louis Garrel, Saoirse Ronan, Greta Gerwig, Laura Dern, Emma Watson, Tracy Letts, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet and Chris Cooper attend the world premiere of 'Little Women'. [Photo: Getty]
<p>Pictured: <a class="sugar-inline-link ga-track" title="Latest photos and news for Emma Watson" href="https://www.popsugar.co.uk/Emma-Watson" target="_blank" data-ga-category="Related" data-ga-label="https://www.popsugar.co.uk/Emma-Watson" data-ga-action="&lt;-related-&gt; Links">Emma Watson</a> at the <strong>Little Women</strong> world premiere.</p>
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 7: James Norton, Louis Garrel, Saoirse Ronan, Greta Gerwig, Laura Dern, Emma Watson, Tracy Letts, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothee Chalamet and Chris Cooper attend "Little Women" World Premiere on December 7, 2019 at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 7: Emma Watson attends "Little Women" World Premiere on December 7, 2019 at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 7: Laura Dern and Emma Watson attend "Little Women" World Premiere on December 7, 2019 at Museum of Modern Art in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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Explaining her final reason, she wrote: "I've been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.

"This isn't because I'm ashamed those things happened to me, but because they're traumatic to revisit and remember.

"I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage. I didn't want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too.

"However, a short while ago, I asked her how she'd feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life and she encouraged me to go ahead.

"I'm mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who've been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces."

In the blog post, Rowling also said she was motivated to address transgender issues via her Twitter account because of what she sees as an increasingly misogynistic society.

"We're living through the most misogynistic period I've experienced," she continued.

"Back in the 80s, I imagined that my future daughters, should I have any, would have it far better than I ever did, but between the backlash against feminism and a porn-saturated online culture, I believe things have got significantly worse for girls.

"Never have I seen women denigrated and dehumanised to the extent they are now.

"From the leader of the free world's long history of sexual assault accusations and his proud boast of 'grabbing them by the pussy', to the incel ('involuntarily celibate') movement that rages against women who won't give them sex, to the trans activists who declare that TERFs need punching and re-educating, men across the political spectrum seem to agree: women are asking for trouble.

"Everywhere, women are being told to shut up and sit down, or else."

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