I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Harry Potter books, even if you’ve never read or been obsessed with the series. Additionally, you may have heard that J.K. Rowling is under fire for a controversial, anti-transgender comment she tweeted in June.
The comment was in response to an op-ed about healthcare inequality, which used the term “people who menstruate” as a way of being more inclusive. Rowling tweeted, “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Despite receiving immediate backlash for her comment, Rowling doubled down and added more of her opinion, which included, “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were being discriminated against on the basis of being trans.”
Let me start off by saying that I used to adore J.K. Rowling. She was my author hero — she was a single mother battling depression, who started writing a bestselling series on a napkin, and has made millions from the series. That ended as soon as I heard of her extremely transphobic tweets. I have trans friends and I’m a strong supporter of trans rights. I can’t support someone while knowing they invalidate trans people.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t still love Harry Potter and the spin-offs. It’s just important to make sure that, if you agree that Rowling’s tweets were transphobic and out of line, you aren’t directly supporting her. This can include not buying official Wizarding World merchandise, not carrying stuff around that promotes the WW, and not posting about HP on social media. The latter two are because, if someone sees your post or whatever you’re carrying around, they may be inspired to buy their own WW stuff and it spreads. If someone approaches you and says something along the lines of “You like Harry Potter? Me too!” it would be good to reply, “I do, but I don’t support J.K.’s opinions.”
If you don’t find anything wrong with Rowling’s tweets…. that’s just wrong. :)