When actress Evanna Lynch posted an Instagram message celebrating the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Ireland last week, the last thing she expected was to get homophobic comments in response.
Best known as kooky witch Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter films, Lynch assumed that anyone who followed her would share the expansive world views of most Potter fans.
So posts describing homosexuality as ‘disgusting’, ‘f**ked up’ or ‘unnatural’ came as a shock.
Her response, though, was magical, drawing on some life lessons from Luna herself.
First she asked the trolls in question to stop following her.
“I am making a special request to all of you today in light of an ugly Instagram thread that is really bothering me. Simply, if you are someone who perceives homosexuality as ‘disgusting’ or ‘f*cked up’ or ‘unnatural’, will you do me a kindness and please unfollow me on all social media platforms. And then block me.”
She made it clear she was not a campaigner, but that she would not tolerate negative messages in a place reserved for positivity.
“If I was someone who wanted to devote her life to fighting this fight to expand people’s minds on the definition of marriage and to break down people’s prejudices towards homosexuality I would probably encourage this constant antagonistic debate and I would invite the radicals to do verbal morality battles with me.
“But this is not my life’s purpose, it’s just life as I see it, something I endorse and the nasty, scathing and downright cruel remarks just Wear. Me. Out. I believe in always promoting a positive message and I don’t want your poison all over my carefully curated wall of light and positivity.”
She then asked the very good question of the trolls, “why are you following me?”, before letting Luna make her point for her.
“I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of you on here clicked ‘like’ on account of my portrayal of the character ‘Luna Lovegood’ in the Harry Potter films (Mackenzie Price fans…gosh, I am sorry but you’re a bit off track here).
“The clue is in the name, people! Luna Lovegood’s love is a GOOD kind of love. It is not conditional or possessive or needy or demanding. It doesn’t fall apart the moment you expose a piece of yourself that is unconventional or even unbecoming. Luna is a character who accepts all people and creatures in all forms, loves them for exactly what they are and who is constantly in awe at the diversity, strangeness and newness of each being she encounters…
“If Luna were to condemn and vilify such an intrinsic human thing as our sexuality and see ANY colour of it as wrong she would not sit so comfortably within herself and she would not be who we know and love. Luna is someone who has always taught me to love myself and I don’t know what you are doing on my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter helping others feel awful about the way they are. If you are one of the people who bred hate or revulsion or shame on my Instagram post today then you clearly haven’t thought very deeply about what I or Luna Lovegood represent and it’s time for you to unfollow.”
It’s a post that will no doubt make JK Rowling and Potter fans everywhere proud, but as an aside it will also give them a fascinating insight into how Lynch sees the character of Luna and how she approached playing her in the films.
“Did you ever wonder why she stares openly, unblinkingly and for uncomfortable periods of time at people? It’s because she is literally falling in love with an odd shaped freckle on their nose, the quirky way they pronounce ‘asked’, the uncontainable awkwardness they can’t hide for a beat longer under such loving scrutiny. And lastly the only way Luna can be quintessentially Luna is because she loves and accepts herself fully.”
Lessons to live your life by, courtesy of Evanna Lynch and Luna Lovegood…