JK Rowling decide to up her amount of trashiness. She was already trash because she liked transphobic tweets, then she followed transphobic people, then she decided to tweet openly transphobic things, and then decided to write a whole transphobic essay about how she’s not transphobic. She’s also racist and homophobic and all around trash. I have a lot of feelings. It feels weird to have these feelings, but I want to talk about them.
I thought I’d be more upset now that she decided to be so open about her TERFness, but honestly I wasn’t too terribly upset. I discovered I had lost my respect for her a long time ago. Though, it does hurt a bit, with how much she’s doubling down.
Harry Potter played such a big role in my young teen years. I used it to find myself. It lodged itself into my love of books. It felt like, and still kind of feels like, such an ingrained part of my life. How do I start untangling that? It was a special series, that held such a special place in my heart for so long. Even after I manage to untangle it, what do I do with the gap it left behind?
I recycled all my Harry Potter books. Movie guides, illustrated copies, even merch. Straight into the recycling. It left behind an entire empty shelf. And instead of feeling that gap more acutely, I realized how many more special books, by incredibly special authors, I’d surrounded myself with. Yes, Harry Potter might have helped me through some things and I might have loved that series deeply, but there are also so many other special books I’ve discovered. I can even discover new special books by diverse authors. I can start a new favorites shelf where Harry Potter used to sit, and fill it with books that are special to me. Just because I took Harry Potter off my shelves doesn’t mean I’ve lost all the books I’ve held dear and I can still find new ones.
Alright. The second part of this post is gender. How I feel about it. So, for about a year and a half I’ve been questioning. Honestly, I’ve probably had niggling thoughts for a lot longer than that, but I shut them down. I’ve felt comfortable saying I’m fluid between fluid and non-binary for around a year. About three months ago, probably having niggling thoughts for long that I shut down, I started questioning things again. Now, I feel comfortable with the term genderfluid. Gender still feels like a big mush in my brain and I still have a lot of figuring out to do, but I’m comfortable with that term and she/they pronouns.
Wow, a little over a year ago I was terrified to quietly put my pronouns in my bio. And now I’m posting the genderfluid flag on Twitter, throwing up genderfluid in my bio, and writing this post. Wow.
I’m still figuring how to feel comfortable in my terms and my own skin. But I’m getting there.
It hurts that JK Rowling says these things. It hurts that Evanna Lynch, who played Luna, who I held so close my heart, who I adored, tried to defend her. But I’m finding OV trans books to read. I’m finding new favorites. I’m discovering new voices. I’m becoming comfortable with my gender.
All my Harry Potter books are gone. Expect for my UK first edition of The Goblet Of Fire that I’m going to try and sell. And put the money towards my top surgery. You know, for the amazing irony of the situation haha.
Anyway, I’m going to leave off with three recommendations for books to fill the Harry Potter void.
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang is an Adult fantasy. It features a school that plays a prominent role! It’s not a magic school, but this book does contain magic. It is Adult, and very dark, so it’s great if you’re looking for something intense. Order can order a copy here.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender is a YA contemporary with a Black and trans main character, written by a Black and trans author. It’s honest and full of art. It’s as stunning and bright as the cover suggests. You can order a copy here.
Lobizona by Romina Garber is a YA fantasy featuring a magic school for witches and werewolves! It’s incredibly good and even has a werewolf version of soccer! You can order a copy here.
I’m looking forward to filling that shelf with books whose authors aren’t transphobes. With books I find special. With books I adore.