lucas silveira
Lucas Silveira

Canadian singer/songwriter Lucas Silveira, best known as the frontman of Canadian rock band The Cliks and the first out transgender man to be signed to a major label record deal, has thrown down the gauntlet to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling in response to her anti-transgender and trans-exclusionary tweets.

In this impassioned video statement, he invites Rowling into conversation.

Dear Miss Rowling,

My name is Lucas Silveira. I’m a musician, singer and songwriter best known for being the front man for a Canadian rock band called The Cliks. I also happen to be the first out transgender man signed to a major record label deal, something I am very proud of. I’m offering you this information so you have some idea of who I am and why I’m here.

I believe in compassionate activism, not cancel culture, so I am here to have a conversation with you about your recent statements affecting the transgender community. Like many people around the world, I love and connect with the Harry Potter books. Outside of the fact that they were the first series of books to help me regain a sense of connection to my inner child, to me, those books represented something immensely profound. They represented an anti-fascist sentiment, the resilience of youth, the resistance to racism, inequality and ethnic cleansing and the power of community revolting against an evil dictator obsessed with a pure race, who would stop at nothing to eradicate those who were not like him or shared his beliefs.

So you may be able to understand that it was a huge shock to read your views on transgender people. I was incredibly hurt to hear that you, one of my heroes, was spreading misinformation and theoretical falsehoods, even creating a platform that empowers bigots and transphobic people, all while using feminist rhetoric as a defense.

Last month, as you are no doubt aware, a Republican Senator from Oklahoma named James Lankford cited your words in an attempt to block the Equality Act bill that would expand human rights protections to transgender Americans, after a direct attack on trans human rights by the Trump Administration. He weaponized your words against a whole community of people who have been and continue to be violated, persecuted and oppressed by fascist leaders who believe they have a right to own our bodies, our stories and our humanity. This is a community with a disproportionately high rate of suicide due to that inequality and lack of access to basic human rights.

So I have some questions:


Is this the side of history that you want to be on?

When did you start to believe that the identity of trans people isn’t valid?

When did you start to believe that you, as a cis person who has never struggled with gender identity, are an expert on our stories, our journeys, our lives or our bodies?

What propelled you from being the author who created characters that spoke of unity and inclusion, into someone creating division by perpetuating false ideas that threaten violence to one of the most marginalized populations in today’s society?


I also want to ask why you felt it was important to center yourself in this conversation. Amidst so much worldwide suffering, a pandemic and deadly anti-Black racism, you felt this was the right time to attack the bodies of one of the most vulnerable, violated, and attacked in our society.

You have the right to your opinions in a free society. This is a truth I support. But when your opinions are stated as facts and those facts put my life and the lives of my community in danger, your opinions become weapons of violence and hatred. So: while you have the right to your opinions, can you do me a favor and stop sharing them so that we don’t get killed?

You understand that words have power. And with power comes responsibility. Joanne, I implore you. I know that as part of a community that has been wounded and suffered systemic inequality – that of cis women and young girls – you’d do anything to defend that community. I applaud that commitment. But what I do not support, is throwing another group of people under the bus to defend your own. Especially when that population is so incredibly vulnerable to violence.

When our fear is so great that we can’t see beyond our pain, anger and resentment, our view becomes very narrow. And in that fear, we can’t see that it is in unity and inclusion that we can fight for each other. Trans women are allies for women’s rights because they are women. Trans men are also advocates of women’s rights. I am one of them. And it is because I have been a woman that I now understand what it means to be a good man.

I have a public life and although I have nowhere near the kind of exposure and fame you’ve had, I have also made mistakes publicly. I’ve learned that sometimes when you listen to how others have been hurt by your words, you can use that as an opportunity to learn and grow. I hope you will. But if you don’t, I want to let you know this: though I have no plans of continuing to support your work if you fail to learn from and apologize for your actions, you will never ever take away what the Harry Potter books meant to me. See, they’re mine. They belong to me now. They belong to us.

The tattoos I have all over my beautiful trans body were inspired by stories that came from your heart and mind. They shall remain, as a symbol of my continued fight against inequality, fascism and anybody who tries to render me invisible as a result of my identity. As an act of resistance, to anyone who tries to erase me and those like me, I reclaim Harry Potter in the form of the tattoos on my skin. I am, and will forever be, a mudblood.

So, Joanne: are you with us or with “you know who”? I hope you make the same decision Harry would.