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A curse on transphobic JK Rowling. Now what are we Potterheads ...


Book talk

A curse on transphobic JK Rowling. Now what are we Potterheads to do?

Given the fresh controversy surrounding the author, it feels hypocritical to separate the art from the artist

I put on my Harry Potter Ravenclaw socks on today. They used to be my sartorial pick-me-up, as my sister, niece and nephew gave them to me for Christmas a few years ago knowing that I was a raving Potter fan (and that I was sorted into the house of Ravenclaw on Pottermore - yeah, I know ...). I have tons of paraphernalia - candles, keyrings, cards, T-shirts. I reread all the books in the beginning of lockdown as they were always such a comfort to me. But now? How do I put on my socks without thinking of JK Rowling and the allegations of her transphobia?

It has turned ugly and there has been public support for and against her. But what are we fans, who found our space and place in the HP community, to do? Those of us who embraced the wizarding world because it was about acceptance and value of the other.  

Can we Potterheads separate the art from the artist? I feel like a hypocrite saying of course we can. I do not watch Woody Allen films or anything with Kevin Spacey in it, no matter how excellent I thought it was once. I will not listen at all to any Michael Jackson songs nor (shiver) R Kelly’s. However, I’m not calling for the cancellation of Harry Potter. Will I ever read the books or watch the movies again? I have no idea. But what I do know is that the books did change the world for the better for many...

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