Harry Potter star from Norfolk has say on JK Rowling transgender row

Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films, at Nor-Con, the TV, film and comic

Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in Harry Potter, has had his say on the JW Rowling trans row - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A star of the Harry Potter film franchise from Dereham has weighed in on the row sparked by JK Rowling's comments on transgender issues. 

Chris Rankin, who moved to Norfolk when he was six years old, said his work for LGBTQ+ charities spoke volumes about his stance on the controversy.

Weybourne Railway Station; Chris Rankin at Weybourne Station (Has stared in the Harry Potter Films);

Chris Rankin, from Dereham, appeared in six of the eight Harry Potter films - Credit: Archant © 2006

Rowling, author of the multi-million Potter book series, drew criticism in June 2020 for tweets in which she questioned the phrase "people who menstruate" in an online article - apparently taking issue that the word "women" was not used. 

She later said her interest in trans issues stemmed from being a survivor of abuse. 

But Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have since condemned the 56-year-old's remarks. 

And Mr Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in six of the eight movies, said: "I do a lot of work with charities that are LGBTQ+-focused and I raise money for the Albert Kennedy Trust on a regular basis. 

"A lot of my family are members of the community. It is a huge part of my life and I think, by saying that, you can probably guess where my allegiances lie in that respect."

He added: "What is important to highlight is that, when a trans person says they are male or female, that is what they are and that is how we should treat them.

Most Read

"It is damaging to them to say otherwise. 

"They are a very small minority who have an awful lot to deal with, and the best thing we can do is support them like we would - or should - any other human being on the planet."

Chris Rankin of Dereham, who is in the Harry Potter movie, wearing his jacket to the cinema to see t

Chris Rankin pictured in 2001 following the release of the first Harry Potter film - Credit: Archant

Mr Rankin, who attended local schools including Thomas Bullock Primary and Northgate High School, was speaking as the 20th anniversary of the first Potter film - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - was celebrated. 

He said the wizarding world of Harry Potter and its school, Hogwarts, had long been a "safe space" for those in need. 

"There is this saying that Hogwarts is a place for anybody who needs it, and it has been that for so many," he added.

"I have had countless people tell me that Harry Potter is where they felt able to be themselves. 

"Across the board it has been a safe space, and I really hope it can continue to be because they need that."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter