Previously posted to my magical blog amugofmagic.wordpress.com.
Despite my love of Harry Potter, the author has long been problematic. From her declaration that Dumbledore is gay after the entire series was published to the admission that before the invention of toilets wizards simply defecated where they stood and Vanished the evidence (EW), there’s been a lot said over the years. She Tweets or blogs about things that are added to the canon. Whilst this worked for Pottermore, it’s been difficult to take her seriously for some time.
However, now she has decided to properly out herself as a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist: someone who doesn’t believe that trans women are women). Her Tweets and the essay on her blog are completely harmful to many in the magical community, and indeed the wider world.
As the most famous children’s author on the planet, she has a sense of duty to her fans and other children. She has disgustingly let everyone down.
Over the past week or so, I’ve struggled with my love of Harry Potter contrasted with my hate of the author. Is it possible to love something and hate its creator? After all, we still read Lord of the Flies (William Goulding attempted to rape a 14-year-old), Elvis Presley courted underage girls, and Frank Sinatra had battery charges against him.
Whilst it is impossible to separate the art from the artist entirely, as we must always understand the link between the context in which a piece was produced to the final product, I think that Harry Potter has become something more than JK Rowling herself. If we look at the impact these novels and films have had on the world, it is hard to divorce that from what we have now learnt. Harry Potter became a world where people found acceptance and love and the place where they could be who they wanted to be.
I cannot support JK Rowling any longer. There are difficulties with this: I would love to return to the Wizarding World in Florida and indeed for my birthday in May I received tickets to the Warner Bros Studio Tours, where I will still be visiting. There are of course changes I can still make: recommending other, more diverse and less problematic books over Harry Potter; trying to buy official merchandise second hand, if indeed I buy any at all; and no longer following or interacting with JK Rowling herself. I am also uplifting trans voices in the community, signing petitions, and when I am able, I would like to be able to be in the position to donate to LGBTQIA+ charities.
I am delighted by the fact that many of the cast and members of the wizarding world community have spoken out against JK Rowling’s transphobic messages, in support of the trans community. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne have all been outspoken in their support. For me, this not only reaffirms that these people are humane and accepting, it tells me that they fight for rights of others. Not only that, but it tells me that the wizarding world is still a place where people can call home.