J.K. Rowling: The Blatant Transphobia Of A Beloved Social Justice Hero

Phaylen Fairchild
9 min readMar 24, 2018

In case you are one of the very few needing a reminder, Harry Potter is the titular character in a series of seven bestselling books that took the world by storm. Spawning movies based on the material, toys, plays, spinoffs and even a themed attraction at Universal Studios. The mastermind behind the magic is J.K. Rowling, a 52 year old woman from England who changed the terrain of the literary landscape when, entrenched in crippling poverty, she scribbled the synopsis for a book about a child wizard on a napkin in a local coffee shop. That was where it all began.

Harry Potter donning The Sorting Hat

The story of the little Wizard that would rise to defeat the very embodiment of oppression, intolerance and evil embedded itself so deeply in our culture that kids and adults alike found themselves bombarding the Official Website to ask the famous Sorting Hat- a talking hat which one places on their head as it determines which of the mystical Houses ensconced within the walls of the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogwarts, they will be assigned to. It manifested a world where oddities, misfits and those who had been ‘othered’ by societal demands, expectations and traditions finally belonged… far away from the boring world of “Muggles;” A term used to define someone who possesses no magical capabilities. That’s not to be confused with the reference to “Mudbloods” which refers to an individual with one parent born of magical descendants and one parent who has no magical ability. Mudbloods often endure extreme prejudice in Rowling’s world. The word itself is leveraged a slur.

The Archenemy of Harry Potter is Lord Voldemort, who is obsessed with “Blood purity” and wishes to destroy all Muggles in order to claim dominion over both the magical and non magical world. He has his army of devout followers, known as “Death Eaters” who position themselves in places of influence in order to ensure he takes his seat as Ruler of all.

In many ways, the world of Harry Potter parallels our own. You have those bad guys with power and prestige versus the underdogs, those whose freedoms and civil rights are at risk. In every form and…

Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright phaylens@gmail.com