Fan takes a new look at Harry Potter
THURS. | 02-24-22 | OPINION
Stepping into the realm of Harry Potter created a whole new world where I was transported into a place of magic. When I first read the Harry Potter books in the sixth grade I was immediately transfixed by the wizarding world. From that moment on, I only read the Harry Potter books and watched the movies. I ordered Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, wrote only with a quill, I asked only for Harry Potter merch on my birthday, even tried to recreate butterbeer. In other words, I was obsessed with Harry Potter.
When I first heard about the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling in June of 2020, my interest was piqued. Since she was the author of the famous Harry Potter series which I dearly loved, I wanted to know what this was all about.
Image courtesy of insider.com
It turns out Rowling had posted several tweets that were extremely transphobic. I was appalled when I heard about this. Rowling had created such an amazing magical world within her books where students could be wizards or witches, but then was hating on transgender (trans) people for being themselves.
Although Rowling had claimed that she supported the LGBTQ+ community in the past, her own words did not support that. It was hard to see the Harry Potter books through the same eyes after learning about how transphobic the author was, and I’m not the only one who thought this. Many of the stars within the Harry Potter movies spoke out against Rowling and stood against her, agreeing that trans women are women.
Because of her comments, Rowling was not invited back to the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion. I believe that this was a good way to distance Rowling from the Harry Potter franchise despite being the author. The Harry Potter world allowed people of all ages to be transported into a magical world full of wonder, and Rowling’s opinions shouldn’t spoil that. Even though it is more than okay for people to have different opinions, Rowling’s comments clearly were full of hate, and she liked several comments on Twitter labeling trans women as “men in dresses.”
I was surprised to see Rowling tearing others down, especially after knowing and loving the immersive world she created. I think Rowling’s reputation is basically done for as she implied that trans people shouldn’t be allowed to identify how they want. Looking back at the books, I noticed that Rowling did not include a lot of diversity in her writing. I now realize that it was probably due to her negative opinions.
The fact that Rowling thought her comments were okay to share is absurd, as she had tweeted that, “It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” This so-called “truth” was that trans people should not be allowed to show their real identity, and she directly targeted trans women by tweeting, “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” Rowling is not recognizing trans women as women and this sets a cruel and inaccurate example for those seeing her tweets.
When all is said and done, I think that Rowling has sunk into dark waters and offended many people. I went from respecting Rowling to looking down on her behavior. She is no longer a writer I aspire to be like. As for Harry Potter, I think that the wizarding world itself will continue to survive in the hearts and minds of readers, but Rowling and her hateful comments will not.