In a photo shared on Twitter and Instagram, the actress and activist wears a simple white T-shirt with the slogan "Trans Rights are Human Rights". She copied in the handles of several trans and LGBT organisations.
Watson's show of support comes as UK trans rights activists are urging members of the public to suggest improvements to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA), a once-groundbreaking piece of LGBT equality legislation that allowed people with gender dysphoria to change their legal gender.
Campaigners are calling on the government to update the law and give trans people the right to self-determine their gender without having to win the "approval" of a panel of physicians who they have almost certainly never met.
Watson's show of support has been welcomed by trans rights activist Paris Lees, the UK's leading LGBT charity Stonewall, and Mermaids, an organisation which offers support to gender diverse and trans children.
Though to many of us updating the GRA may seem like a matter of common sense and a means of protecting some of the most vulnerable people in our society, the pro-reform campaign has exacerbated tensions between trans rights activists and a less intersectional group of feminists who argue that allowing trans people to self-determine their gender could allow predatory men to enter female-only spaces.
In an editorial published today, The Guardian has – surprisingly – declined to lend its full support to the GRA reform campaign, writing: "The Guardian rejects the idea that one of these positions is the right one – and the other wrong. Important questions of personal identity are at stake, but also legal rights and protections."
The Editorial has been branded "harmful" by trans activist and writer Shon Faye.
Didn’t even know whether to acknowledge this. It’s pretty harmful stuff. I can’t quite process how I feel about having written conscientiously for a paper that apparently views me through such an othering lens. But also this editorial doesn’t actually discuss the GRA? I.... https://t.co/Cs2o9JNFC8— shon faye. (@shonfaye) October 18, 2018
There's still time to add your voice to the GRA reform campaign by responding to the government's consultation here – it only takes a few minutes to complete. The deadline is Friday 19th October.