We Need to Talk About Rowling

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Happy Pride, everyone! I hope you’re all doing well.

It’s unfortunate that Rowling has chosen June, Pride, to spew more transphobic hate on Twitter. It’s even more unfortunate that this is a double down on anti-trans statements she made in December, and even just that this sort of hate is what she’s choosing to use her platform for during a BLM-lead revolution and during a global pandemic. Let’s talk about what’s appropriate, what’s necessary, and what isn’t necessary in response to Rowling’s public statements.

If you’d rather hear me tell you all my thoughts, feel free to watch this video on my BookTube channel. If you’d rather read my thoughts, or if you watched and you want more, continue reading below.

In December 2019, J. K. Rowling tweeted in support of an individual who was fired for transphobic statements. By that, I mean Rowling supported this woman’s statements and agreed with this woman that she was wrongfully terminated from her job. Her publicist quickly chimed in, and soon Rowling was backpedalling and claiming to have misunderstood what was going on.

Well, clearly she understood exactly what was going on because she’s been digging herself a deeper and deeper hole with her transphobic tweets this month. The cherry on top of it all is the multi-thousand-word essay she wrote to justify herself and make it all okay. (Spoiler, it’s not all okay. Not in the slightest.)

Harry Potter film actors including Daniel Radcliff and Emma Watson have spoken up. They want fans to know that they do not share Rowling’s beliefs, and that it’s okay to still love Harry Potter, even if you no longer support the creator.

So now the internet is fairly divided on this issue of whether or not Rowling and Harry Potter are “cancelled.”

In literary analysis, there’s a term known as “Death of the Author,” which means you disregard everything you may know about the author and the author’s intent for their work so that you’re able to analyze the work in a vacuum, divorced from the author. We fans of Harry Potter can do that with the fandom if we choose.

If you’re able to separate the creator from the creation and enjoy the Harry Potter books, films, and/or larger fandom while still disagreeing with Rowling, that’s great! If you feel that you need to put all things Harry Potter away for now (or forever), that’s fine too. We all need to do what works best for us. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong, and don’t tell anyone else that they’re doing it wrong.

What we should do now is to stop financially supporting Rowling. Stop buying her books. Stop buying tickets or copies of the films derived from her books. Stop buying officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise. Stop providing new positive reviews for her works that boost her on sales lists.

That doesn’t mean you have to throw away, give away, sell, or destroy anything Harry Potter that you already own. Those things are already paid for, with money you or someone who cares about you worked hard for. Removing those things from your life, even if you financially gain in the process, doesn’t take money away from Rowling. Remove those things from your life only if you feel the need to do so, not because you feel pressured to do it.

Like Nathaniel from the Council of Geeks & Breakroom of Greeks YouTube channels has been saying: If I leave this fandom, it will be because I have chosen to leave, not because I was pushed out by hate.

I personally will continue to enjoy the Harry Potter of my teenage years. I’ll be sharing these books and films with my daughter. I won’t shy away from blog and YouTube tags that derive inspiration from Harry Potter. I will occasionally do quiz videos using the quizzes on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and other fandom sources. I will continue to draw Harry Potter fan art when it best suits the topic I want to cover on my art channel.

I will not purchase new Harry Potter items or any other new Rowling books. I will not give reviews for the Harry Potter books and films on any of my platforms. I will not add new Harry Potter designs to my print on demand merch stores, and I will soon be hunting down and removing any such designs that were already uploaded.

Thank you for your support and understanding. I hope that my decision to still do some fandom things won’t be the thing that drives you away. If you’ve chosen to completely remove yourself from the Harry Potter fandom at this time, then I encourage you to skip my future Harry Potter fandom content, but to stay for everything else.

PS.

How the f*** can someone who writes about a magical world where people can and do transform themselves into whatever they want to be, and who retroactively makes characters gay to be more relevant, be so publicly against transgender rights and reality? I don’t get it.

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