Daniel Radcliffe
Actor Daniel Radcliffe discusses his new film "Swiss Army Man" with AOL Build at AOL Studios In New York on June 27, 2016 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/ Getty Images

Daniel Radcliffe Expresses His Hesitation With The Term“Ally” In Discussion With Trans Youth

The “Harry Potter” actor recently facilitated a roundtable discussion with trans and non-binary youth about their experiences.

Daniel Radcliffe is continuing his work as an LGBTQ+ advocate. 

The Harry Potter actor recently participated in a roundtable discussion with six trans and non-binary youth as part of The Trevor Project’s Sharing Space series. Daniel has been involved with The Trevor Project for years and was awarded the Trevor Hero Award in 2011

In the first episode of Sharing Spaces, the participants discussed “gender euphoria, respecting pronouns, self-discovery, and what genuine allyship looks like.” The episode was facilitated by Daniel. 

“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,” Daniel said during the episode. “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.” 

Daniel also directed the conversation toward a discussion about allies, and he himself — who would definitely be considered an ally by most — expressed his hesitation with the word.  

“I said this to you all earlier about my weird little problems with the word ‘ally,’ just because anytime you hear somebody self-refer to themself as an ally, I'm always like, ‘I'm suspicious of you,’” Daniel said. 

He continued: “But there is an original meaning to that word, and there [are] some people who embody that very powerfully.”

Multiple panelists chimed in on their own thoughts about the term ally and people who refer to themselves as such. One participant, Deity The Way, had an excellent point about allies “taking accountability” for their mistakes. 

“We as people in this community, we have to oftentimes accept that, even with allies, we still have to communicate what makes us feel good and what our boundaries [are],” they said. “The first thing that a person that calls [themself] an ally thinks is that, because I believe in you and because I see you the way you want to be seen, I can’t do anything else wrong.”

Deity The Way continued: “It’s not about you respecting me, it’s about you taking accountability, you know? You can’t be an ally to anyone let alone trans or cis, if you cannot sit down and acknowledge when you’ve done something that hurts someone or that can make someone feel less.” 

Daniel also asked what the panelists think cis and straight people should know or work on when it comes to being an ally. The participants said kindness and working on “unlearning” what they’ve previously known. 

The actor has consistently been involved in the LGBTQ+ community and has publicly condemned Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans statements made in the past. In 2020, Daniel released a statement through the Trevor Project supporting the trans community in the wake of Rowling’s hateful comments about transgender women. 

“Transgender women are women,” Daniel said at the time. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either [J.K. Rowling] or I.”

The Trevor Project is a crisis prevention organization that works specifically with LGBTQ+ youth. The nonprofit provides services including counseling, peer support, research, public education, and advocacy. 

Watch the full roundtable here:

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