Last month author J.K. Rowling angered fans with a series of transphobic tweets and an essay published to her personal website.
Today, MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron released a joint statement about the controversy. These are two of the biggest fan sites on the internet. The fan sites spoke out in support of transgender people and outlined future plans to distance themselves from Rowling.
The following is an excerpt from the statement:
“As this fandom enters its third decade, J.K. Rowling has chosen this time to loudly pronounce harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person. In addition to the distaste we feel for her choice to publish these statements during Pride Month—as well as during a global reckoning on racial injustice—we find the use of her influence and privilege to target marginalized people to be out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community.
Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused.
Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs.”
The future of Harry Potter fan sites – without JKR
In the future, both MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron have decided to no longer include coverage of Rowling’s personal life or non-”Potter” projects. They will also no longer link to her website or use images of her likeness.
Additionally, the sites will begin referring to the author only as #JKR on social media. This will allow followers to block the hashtag to prevent those posts from appearing on their feed.
The fan sites acknowledge that the Harry Potter series still means a lot to fans around the world. Even those upset by Rowling’s comments. They are working to strike a balance between fans’ loyalty to the franchise and their disappointment in Rowling as a person.
We have seen countless people use the ‘Potter’ books and fanfic to explore their own identities while spreading love and acceptance. We know that this is still possible, and we know that we want to continue to be part of that movement.
The statement later said.
We are committed to doing better work in our community to uplift and center the people who have been marginalized and create positive change from within our fandom platforms.
MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron recruited GLAAD and the Trevor Project to consult on the statement.
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