Saturday, March 12, 2022

It's Been A Very Good Eleven Years

The Harry Potter fandom concluded in 2011 with the release of the final film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. For me, I had just re-started my journey. I originally paused reading the books when I was a kid and figured it'd always be too late to return to Hogwarts. Until I did.

I started this blog to share an adventure of re-discovering the series. Little did anyone know back then how the franchise would expand - Pottermore (RIP) into WizardingWorld.com, theme parks, two spin-off series in film and theatre, worldwide exhibitions and the official studio tour. I started attending conventions with a press pass, met amazing like-minded wizards, and grew to see the world in new and magical ways. Companies were kind enough to send me products for review and giveaways. Upcoming authors allowed me to interview them about their latest work. The memories and experiences I made are innumerable and too meaningful to put into words. For the past ten years, this little site gave me so much that I will forever cherish.

While that love (or nostalgia, I should say) will never fully extinguish, it has shifted for a number of reasons. Recently, her choices and actions is not something I can support - including: using gay conversion therapist Robert Galbraith as her new penname, liking tweets referring to the community as LGBTSTUVWXYZ and/or misgendering trans women as men, blocking LGBTQ+ individuals like David Paisley after showing how her supporters as attackers. Rowling once wrote: "I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans," yet she has not mentioned or spoken out against Governor Greg Abbott order to criminalize gender-affirming care, transgender youth and their allies, or once dared to show how the transgender community have been and are currently under attack.

As someone who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community, I've tried to shift my love of Harry Potter into being some kind of ally, and change what I posted on the site or social media...but there is always doubt and fear lingering about any impact I might make by bolstering her presence and financial standing. I wholeheartedly believe in women's spaces being safe, but that cannot be fully achieved without transwomen, and want to utilize my time and energy elsewhere, no longer under the banner of this site or franchise any longer.

Every fans' decision is their own, and I respect it. But I hope to call on anyone to visit this site to consider what it means to continue supporting Rowling by supporting Harry Potter, or the next franchise waves including Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child. Her words made up our childhoods, and now her words on social media are upending generations vying for acceptance and the means to live healthfully and happily. Please listen to transgender voices and the LGBTQ+ community about the issues we are facing.

There are no words that I can really use to explain how hard this decision for me. Like many, this fandom has become a big part of my identity and love of literature. But love is not magic when it is silent in the wizarding world. There is a glaring omittance from the Harry Potter franchise including the studios, third-party companies, and even parts of the fandom about the effects its creator on trans women and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Hogwarts will always be my home, and I hope its walls will feel safer for everyone to return to it someday.