How can someone love something created by a problematic person? That question has plagued my mind ever since JK Rowling revealed herself to be a TERF. Even though I now know this, I still feel a genuine affection for her Harry Potter franchise. I love the wizarding world of Hogwarts. I love following Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their adventures. Luna Lovegood is even one of my all-time favorite characters! Yet, all of this was created by someone who refuses to believe trans women are also women. So, how do I come to terms with this? Well, that’s not easy to answer but I have my ways.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the Harry Potter books, but I remember how much I loved reading them. The world Rowling created pulled me in and I couldn’t put the books down. I have fond memories of reading them. When Rowling’s true colors came out, I expected my memories to feel tainted. Instead, I felt the same fondness I’d always felt. This made me wonder if it was wrong of me to still deeply love something created by someone like JK Rowling.
If I were to read the books now, I’d probably find problematic aspects that went over my head when I was younger. That thought is why I haven’t reread them quite yet (though I’m planning to). Even so, I believe I’d still love the books after reading them again.
After many coping mechanisms and constant thoughts of whether I am a horrible person for loving Harry Potter, I came to a realization; nothing could stop me from loving this series. By denying my love for it to feel like a better person, I was only hurting myself in the process because the truth is that even though JK Rowling isn’t a great person, what she’d created resonated with me; and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just because a piece of art is created by someone problematic doesn’t mean it cannot still relate to people. Michael Jackson’s music is still very much loved, and he turned out to be one of the worst people ever. Unfortunately, it’s possible for people like him and JK Rowling to garner success. That shouldn’t stop people from loving what they create though.
Here’s the thing; at the end of the day, people don’t control what speaks to them. The reason so many people love Harry Potter is because they felt like they had a fantasy world to escape to that would welcome them with open arms. The fact that it was created by JK Rowling doesn’t diminish this meaning. Sure, fans may be more hesitant to buy merchandise in fear of contributing to Rowling’s fortune, but the love they feel for Harry Potter will still be there. Of course, it’ll be there because it’s become a part of them. It’s not about supporting Rowling; it’s about letting yourself love something that helped shape you and got you through difficult times. Continue loving Harry Potter because it’s a truly wonderful franchise. It’s okay to love it even if it was created by a TERF. Rowling brought the world to life, but she didn’t create your own perceptions of Harry Potter that spoke to you unlike anything else.