Colin’s voice was laden with sleepy satisfaction.
“Mom,” he said. I looked over at him, taking in his sweet smile and slightly too small dinosaur pjs; ones that had fit perfectly just a week ago. His smile widened, “I bet Harry Potter wished he lost his first tooth.”
There had been a mishap at toothbrushing time that night. Colin tried to pry a flip top toothpaste lid open with his wiggly tooth. The lid won. It took a fair bit of cheerful congratulations on my part to keep him out of tears. And now he was pleased as punch and, for a short time that evening, was cooler than Harry Potter. He had lost a tooth!
Harry Potter was our go to bedtime story. We snuggled up under a blanket in the winter and carted at least one book with us on camping trips. I wasn’t as enamoured of the series as my kids, as I found Harry Potter to be a bit too whiny, but they adored the books.
I hadn’t really thought of Harry Potter in a while. My kids are grown, I think my daughter has the books now. I cringed when JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay. It felt like she was saying it just to get in the news again more than any real thought regarding his sexual orientation. If she wanted him to be gay, she had seven books to out him. That would have been a lot more meaningful.
Then came her liking transphobic posts. I believe her publicist blamed those on “middle aged fingers”. I’m turning 50 years old this year and have yet to like a transphobic comment. Just saying.
So it wasn’t much of a surprise when friends started posting about JK Rowling and her transphobic tweet. My first thought was for the people I know who live and breathe Harry Potter. Thankfully all were fine. Then I thought of my trans friends, who were quite pragmatic about the situation. Colin summed it up nicely when he said, “Mom, it’s not a surprise. She’s been like this for years.”
I know where I stand. JK Rowling is a dumpster fire who endorses bullying and harassment in the workplace. She’s like the racists in the 50’s. Trans people are okay as long as they’re not uppity and know their place. Said place being preferably far from her. She is more than willing to stand up for rights as long as the person in question is white, straight, and cis. Because you know how much support they need.
My trans friends matter a whole lot more to me than a fictional world and a has-been writer. I have stood up for my friends before, not just online but in the real world. And I will do it again and again. JK Rowling will never see this but, if she did, I’d tell her that she made the worst decision of her life and is standing on the wrong side of history.
And Colin, you have always been cooler than Harry Potter.