MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron, two of the largest and most well-established “Harry Potter” fan communities online, released a joint statement on Thursday in support of transgender individuals and rejecting the transphobic comments made by series author J.K. Rowling on Twitter and her website in June.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
Moving forward, neither site will include purchase links for Rowling’s non-“Potter” work, links to Rowling’s website, images of Rowling’s likeness or coverage of Rowling’s personal life.
Additionally, the sites announced that they would refer to the author as #JKR in the future, allowing fans to easily mute the hashtag to prevent posts about the author from appearing on their social media feeds.
“We have seen countless people use the ‘Potter’ books and fanfic to explore their own identities while spreading love and acceptance,” the statement continued. “We know that this is still possible, and we know that we want to continue to be part of that movement. 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. This marks the beginning of a renewed commitment to serving the ‘Harry Potter’ community from a more conscious standpoint than we have done in the past.”
MuggleNet was created in 1999 and has accrued over 305,000 followers on Twitter and 802,000 followers on Facebook. The Leaky Cauldron launched in 2000 and has over 150,000 followers on Twitter and 233,000 on Facebook.
Rowling came under fire for a series of transphobic tweets last month. Many people on the social media platform denounced her statements, as did “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and “Fantastic Beasts” star Eddie Redmayne. LGBTQ rights organization GLAAD called on organizations affiliated with Rowling to denounce her anti-trans views. Rowling then followed up her tweets with a lengthy essay on her website in which she invoked her own experience with sexual assault as a significant factor in her support for “single-sex spaces.”
MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron’s statement was written with consultation from GLAAD and the Trevor Project.