Harry Potter is a character beloved by many, myself included. In many ways I identify with the character. I too have a definite sense of what’s right and wrong, I am often strongly guided by my own conscience, and I have sported dorky, round glasses in my life. The character of Harry Potter provides great escapism, especially for the oppressed, because it shows someone who has overcome struggle and trauma to ultimately become the hero of his own story. In many ways, I relate that to the queer community. We often struggle with more than we should early on in life. Whether it be self-internalized hate, rejection from our families, or self-doubt, we often dream for that Harry Potter moment when we find our magic and life gets easier. It was immensely hurtful when J. K. Rowling, the author of this beloved series, shared her dangerous views on trans women. In a world where our trans community is being murdered at alarming rates just for existing, we should not support people who think transgender people “are confused or misguided about their gender.” It is time we cancel J.K. Rowling for good.
Rowling has an unhealthy obsession with trans women in general. While sharing her viewpoints, she has made it clear that her feminism is trans exclusionary. Recently, Rowling made headlines by calling women “people who menstruate,” thus implying that only women get their periods, erasing the nonbinary and trans masculine people who also menstruate. Also, in her 2015 novel The Silkworm, Rowling includes a jarring subplot involving a trans woman who’s framed through a transphobic lens. Another scene in her following book, 2017’s Career of Evil, left some readers questioning whether it could be interpreted as transphobic satire. In 2018, she liked a transphobic tweet accusing trans women of being “men in dresses.” Last December, she tweeted out her support for Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job with a London think tank after promoting anti-transgender views.
J. K. Rowling has been showing us who she is for years, it’s time we believe it.
“But Juan, isn’t J. K. Rowling allowed her freedom of expression? Isn’t she allowed to have her own opinions?”
The First Amendment guarantees the right to free expression and free association, which means that the government does not have the right to forbid people from saying or writing what they’d like. But you cannot expect to be protected if your core beliefs involve violating others’ dignity, safety, and humanity. The problem with sharing your trans exclusionary views is that there is already a ridiculous amount of people who characterize trans women as men-pretending-to-be-women, allegedly to “invade” women-only spaces, assault women or otherwise exercise misogyny. By sharing trans exclusionary beliefs we continue to create histeria and further build a more toxic environment for trans folk. When society repeatedly continues to diminish and dehumanize the identity and dignity of trans people, a dangerous message is sent to the people who would discriminate or even attack the transgender community. Trans people are being murdered at alarming rates. J. K. Rowling has yet to acknowledge the danger of using her large platform to question the validity of trans women’s existence.
So as Harry Potter fans, what is there to do now? Is it possible to continue to enjoy these books and movies if we disagree with the author’s moral compass? Personally, I will stop supporting any future projects from Rowling. I will use her in a conversation only when trying to educate about the dangers of trans exclusion. I will continue to call-out people who constantly attack our trans community. And lastly, for my own sanity, I have created fan-fiction in my mind where Harry Potter is a real-life character who loathes J. K. Rowling and is appalled by her exclusionary views. Maybe it’s time for me to continue the saga and write “Harry Potter And The Trans Exclusionary Monster.“