Dear JK Rowling, You’re Not My Hero Anymore

Dear JK Rowling, 

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Anna, I’m a proud Hufflepuff (though I have some Gryffindor tendencies because I love attention) and I have been a Harry Potter fan since I was 10 years old. When I say fan, I mean HARDCORE fan. Daniel Radcliffe was my first celebrity crush, I idolized Hermione Granger for her courage, wit and intelligence (I even dressed up as her for Halloween one year) and despite being terrible at every muggle sport, I had convinced myself that I would be on the quidditch team if I ever got my Hogwarts acceptance letter (spoiler alert — still waiting). 

Like most childhood obsessions, by high school, my wizard addiction calmed, but it never completely died out. Just recently, I picked up the series again and decided to re-read the books and re-watch the movies, as this whole global pandemic has left me with some extra free time. And as soon as I picked up the first book, I was reminded of why fifth grade Anna had been so mesmerized by these stories: Exciting spells, magical creatures and the perfect amount of angsty teenage drama. My 21-year-old heart felt at home in the pages of your books.

Harry Potter World Hogwarts Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon Every once in a while, when times get especially un-magical, I catch myself slipping into a daydream in which I find myself in the world you created, and I am eternally grateful to you for providing so many people with an escape from the sadness and brokenness of life. However, you are no longer my hero. I no longer look up to you, and here’s why.

Right around the time I entered my second Harry Potter phase earlier this year, you began sharing some controversial opinions on Twitter (and this was not the first time you’ve offended certain marginalized groups). While I do not wish to specifically state any of these opinions, as I cannot imagine the harmful effect they have had on transgender women, I will say this: Your transphobic Tweets targeted at members of the transgender community trying to live their truths have hurt so many people. 

As a straight, cisgender woman, I would never dare speak for a community that I do not represent. However, I can confidently say that as a Harry Potter fan and an LGBT+ ally, I am furious. You created a world full of magic, wonderment and lessons of self-acceptance and tolerance. You created a safe place for people from all walks of life to feel valid and at home. Then, with a few hate— and bigotry — filled Tweets and Retweets, the magical safe haven you created came crashing down on those who needed it most. 

Now, your fanbase feels incredibly betrayed. We feel like we have to abandon our favorite magical world because its author has proven to be full of hate and bitterness. 

Slowly but surely, I can see the Harry Potter community healing from what you have said and done. We are learning to separate the art from the artist. We love what you have created; we need what you have created. But we don’t need you anymore. 

For so many people, Hogwarts is a place of love, acceptance and belonging. Hogwarts will always be our home, but you’re not invited anymore. 

I hope that you soon see the light (Lumos).

Sincerely, 

Your ex-fan Anna.