The inherent homophobia of the Harry Potter series

I feel like every time I talk about Harry Potter I have to start the conversation with, “I love Harry Potter, but…” in the way that one talks about a relative who used to get us good birthday gifts but now we realize are a bigoted piece of shit. It’s a too accurate comparison, since I’ve always felt that this series played as big of a part in my childhood as my family did. And, just like with many of my relatives, my relationship with the Harry Potter series is strained by the fact that I’m a woman who likes women, and JKR, like these subtly and not so subtly homophobic family members, doesn’t seem to like queer people very much.

To be fair, Joanne K Rowling doesn’t seem to like abuse victims, fat people, people of color or the mentally ill very much either, but I digress.

I have a Harry Potter tattoo. I own a bunch of Harry Potter merchandising, and the books, and a couple movies, and some of the video games too. And yet, my relationship with this series that has been so integral to my life since I was six years old is now tainted by bitterness. The recent premiere of the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has only increased this resentment.

I think this is a good time to review the homophobia that’s plagued the worldbuilding of the Harry Potter universe from, at the very least, 1999, the year Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released.

You can read the full article on Medium

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12 thoughts on “The inherent homophobia of the Harry Potter series

  1. Amazing essay. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree, the more time passes, the more is J.K.Rowling’s queerphobia obvious. I will never understand why is she praised as ally for the Dumbledore’s character when she withheld the information about his sexuality from the books. I can’t speak for movie since I won’t watch it or its sequels because of Depp’s casting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree on everything in this essay, it’s nice to see that someone shares the same views as me. I’m writing my thesis on this very subject (well, the parts about Lupin and Dumbledore), and I was wondering if you have a source on the “pin prick attacks”? That would be incredibly helpful for my thesis, but I can’t find much by googling.

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  3. Thank you! I am sharing this with all my fellow love/hate Harry Potter friends- you’ve crystallized a lot of the issues we have with the franchise and it’s such a relief to read.

    Like

  4. Thanks for this, it pretty much sums up what’s been subconciously bothering me all this time. My own personal headcanon of course remains unchanged for the bigger part of this last decade (even in light of JKR’s homophobia): in my reading, every character is somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, except of course Dumbledore, who has a very solid, long-term loving thing going on with McGonagall. 😀 Long live fanfiction! Thanks for the article. 🙂

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  5. Reblogged this on ChasetheNextChapter and commented:
    This makes me miss my days as a Lit Theory student. This is for any Potter fan that enjoys reading critically, with depth and thoughtfulness. I love the Potter series, but I enjoy a critical approach when it’s well expressed, and this is a great example of that.

    Like

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