*This blog mentions and discusses transphobia, antisemitism, violence against trans people and the death of Brianna Ghey*
You’d think convincing people not to spend £50 would be easy. You’d think that if that money was going to publicly fund murder it would be even easier.
Hogwarts Legacy is an open world Harry Potter game recently released on a variety of consoles. The game sparked controversy for a lot of different reasons, Harry Potter’s original creator JK Rowling being one of them. Once the darling of Britain, now mostly famous for her hateful twitter tirades against trans women, and self-righteous pity towards trans men. Now this may seem harmless enough, another celebrity desperate to get their awful opinions out into the open for the whole internet to see, but what happens when that celebrity uses their image and fortune to fund actual legislation to stop these people from existing?
I’m going to be 100 percent honest with you in this blog.
I used to love Harry Potter. I think I still could love it if it hadn’t been so tainted. I’ve read all the books; I went to the midnight showing of the final film with a friend back in primary school. I know it all, I know my Hogwarts house, my wand, my Patronus, all the things that used to matter to me as a kid.
But that stuff doesn’t matter anymore, because last week a 16-year-old girl was murdered in the middle of Warrington park and nobody seems to care.
I spent my childhood wrapped up in that fiction, it meant more to me than I could ever have explained at the time, and I bet for some of you it’s the same. But here in the real world JK Rowling and the royalties, she still definitely gets, are doing something genuinely evil.
So why are we throwing ourselves to this evil for light nostalgia?
For some games developers that have already been paid? Who created a game that leaned entirely on some of the books anti-Semitic stereotypes?
The idea that J.K Rowling gets nothing from this game is a marketing technique.
It’s based on the idea that if people don’t think she’s involved they’ll sink £50 into a game she gets a big cut of. She uses that slice of money to fund anti-legislation, to oppose things like the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, or actively stop teens from getting gender affirming care.
Gender affirming healthcare is a form of suicide prevention for young trans teens.
A study in America showed within 104 transgender and nonbinary people aged 13-20, “Those who received gender-affirming hormones or puberty blockers had 60% lower odds of depression and 73% lower odds of self-harm or suicidal thoughts”. I cannot stress enough how much damage this woman is doing.
But it’s not just about the money.
The real danger lurks below the iceberg, with the name we all know pushing hate and violence into the public eye with a consistent flow of revenue to do actual damage to the trans community. The more her work is talked about and spread, the more interest in Harry Potter content will peak.
I know Harry Potter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but just a tiny pause in the flow of money and ego into that woman’s wallet would be something. She uses her bigotry to advertise her new books and uses the flames from the fire to keep herself warm.
This is not ‘just a video game’. The queer community is not just upset or overreacting, when we beg and plead you not to hand your money over, to a factory that pumps out hate and danger for these children. JK Rowling is using her image to make transphobia an expected bigotry, as she sides with right wing politicians and genuine white supremacy beliefs to make it happen.
This is the real-life impact of these tiny inconsequential things.
And I am so sick of having to explain the consequences of people’s own actions to them, that dipping their toes into some mediocre nostalgia trip will harm millions, if not billions of people across the world. I am sick and tired of having to watch people flippantly act, as if their actions don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, while they willfully and ignorantly throw money at a woman who thinks trans people are a danger to our society.
Why do I even try?
Well, I try for children like Brianna, kids who are just trying to live their lives as authentically as they can, they have no agenda or hidden politics, they’re just kids. Or there are people like me who’ve struggled their whole lives with gender being forcibly pressed onto them when it just doesn’t fit. I want this world to be safe for those people.
Brianna Ghey, a transgender girl, was stabbed to death in Warrington Park on the 11th of February 2023. She was 16.
In the UK, “those trans people lucky enough to have a job, one in eight have been physically attacked by a colleague or customer within the past year”, the more we normalize this hatred, the more common rampant acts like this become. Brianna should never have had to die; she was a child with her entire life in front of her. And although her death is not yet being considered a hate crime, sadly, she is a name in a long list of poor trans youth who’ve lost their lives.
So, don’t for a second think that what you chose to do with your money won’t matter in the long run, don’t pretend you just had to do it or she’s already popular anyway so why not.
You always have a choice.
JK Rowling twisted the love of millions of children into something hatful, yet so wildly accepted. She is damaging a community that have done nothing but try to exist, while many of us stand idly by hoping not to be seen.
Letting go of something you loved as a child can be hard but don’t let willful ignorance eat you alive.
There are vigils taking place all over the country for Brianna Ghey and I urge to go and pay your respects, our thoughts are with her family in this trying time, as well as many Trans Charities and shelters that need you to help:
Written by Charlie Robinson