On J.K. Rowling's Latest Statements
“There are all kinds of courage," said Dumbledore, smiling. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I first read this quote when I was just a kid, and it's always stuck with me. A lot of things in Harry Potter have stuck with me, actually. The idea that love is the most powerful magic of all. The idea that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can do great things. And the idea that our actions, more than our words, are what truly make a difference in the world. I cheered when Harry stood up to Professor Umbridge, refusing to back down from his assertion that Voldemort had returned, even after she forced him to repeatedly write "I must not tell lies" with a quill that magically cut the words into his flesh. I have often wondered if I would have the same resolve to do what he was doing in order to stand up for what I knew was right. Well now I have my chance.
Recently on Twitter J.K. Rowling has doubled-down (and tripled-down and quadrupled-down and pentupled-down) on certain anti-transgender views that I won't dignify by repeating here. These views are insensitive, dangerous, and just plain wrong. Transgender women are women, transgender men are men, and there is no more to be said on the subject. This is not a discussion, this is not an argument, these are just facts. Daniel Radcliffe himself has recently expressed similar sentiments to mine, and his thoughts can be found here in a post he wrote for the Trevor Project blog.
So I can't in good conscience support you any longer, Jo. And while saying that may not injure me physically, it does hurt my heart. But that's nothing compared to the pain your words and your unwillingness to educate yourself have caused.
Now, does this mean I'm going to snap my wand (14 1/2", vine wood, unyielding) and renounce my house (Gryffindor!!!)? Of course not. The Harry Potter books were a formative influence in my life. They taught me the morals and values that I hold dear as an adult. I relate to Hermione Granger more than I've ever related to a fictional character in my life and I own more scarlet and gold than any one person should. There is a larger discussion to be had here about enjoying art made by problematic artists (don't even get me started on Orson Scott Card), and we do plan to have that conversation in the future. For now though, I will unequivocally stand by my trans and non-binary family against the dark forces that threaten their acceptance and existence, just like Harry and Hermione and Ron did. Just like you taught me to do, Jo. I love the world you've created and I love the friends I've made because of it. But I can't and I won't sit idly by. I wish I could say that leaving you behind was a tough decision for me, but I must not tell lies.