People with Harry Potter tattoos struggle with what to do after J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans statements

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Before J.K. Rowling proved to be an anti-trans activist, her Harry potter the series has been swallowed up and loved by millions.

Many of these fans even went so far as to get tattoos inspired by the series. Now they’re wondering what to do with their ink.

Vlad Caldwell, 22, grew up with his mom who read the series to him and his little brother.

“It was like another world I was in when I was little, especially because I was young and the movies were coming out,” he told BuzzFeed News.

Caldwell, who is a transgender man, had his very first tattoo at age 18 – a Death Eater symbol on his forearm.

“I received the Death Eater symbol because I was a nervous and emotional teenager,” he said. In the series, the Death Eaters are the bad guys, obsessed with blood purity, so Caldwell was already rethinking the tattoo. But given Rowling’s more recent comments, he now wants it covered.

Rowling is used to making anti-trans statements on Twitter, and on Wednesday she published an essay on her website doubling these comments. She wrote her belief in the importance of “biological sex” and denied the identity of transgender people, like Caldwell.

“I’m still going to watch the movies and enjoy them, but until she stops moving her mouth and earning money, I can’t dissociate her from creation as much,” he said. .

He now plans to turn the tattoo into something else.

Finn H. is in the same boat. The 32-year-old transgender man grew up reading the books and finally got his Harry potter tattoo – Harry’s iconic glasses and scar on his wrist.

He also plans to cover the ink.

“Honestly, I didn’t feel as hurt by the comments from J.K., here we go again“He told BuzzFeed News.

“I’m used to people with big platforms who deny science, unfortunately. I have been thinking about hiding my tattoo for a while now because of his past comments, but it was the last drop. ”

He added, “I have no problem getting rid of everything Harry potter of my life. ”

And there are many people ready to help.

Molly Knox Ostertag is a graphic novelist in Los Angeles who writes stories about magic – but also about gender identity and self-acceptance. She is cisgender, but suggested on Twitter to create cover art for Harry potter tattoos for transgender people or in exchange for a donation to a transgender organization.

I spent today drawing covers for Harry Potter tattoos in exchange for donations to https://t.co/YN9pW0qkqW – I still have a lot to do and I’m not taking any more, but here is some that I loved today!

Ostertag told BuzzFeed News that she was a big fan of Harry potter for a long time, and that had even inspired his own work. But now she can no longer separate the author from the work.

“She used this screed a few days ago and it upset me because we are going through an exciting and important period of racial justice,” she said.

“And it’s also Pride Month and black transgender people have so much against them that affects them, and I was so frustrated that she was using that money to be hateful that way. ”

People sent him pictures of their Harry potter tattoos, and she created cover art ideas that are magical but unrelated to Rowling’s series.

But not everyone with a Harry potter tattoo wants to let Rowling’s comments tarnish a beloved series.

Emmett A. Speed, 29, lives in Utah and told BuzzFeed News that the series literally saved their lives.

They remember the exact moment when they discovered the novels.

“I was sitting next to Carly Hoffman in Mrs. Felix’s fourth grade class, and she had the Chamber of Secrets on his desk and I wanted to know what it was and if I could borrow it, “they said. “I started to be mostly obsessed from that point on. ”

The speed was increased in what they called a “bad family situation”, in addition to dealing with gender dysphoria. Harry potter was a pure escape.

“I wanted to get a letter from Hogwarts and be in a different world that I had no idea about,” they said.

Speed, who is transmasculine, said he had re-read The sorcerer’s stone whenever they had suicidal feelings in high school, scoring in the book each time. There are over 175 brands in this copy.

They felt a kinship with Harry – someone pushed into the spotlight for something over which they had no control and constantly criticized for the way they played this role. It was how Speed ​​felt about their gender.

When they were 19, Speed ​​spent two pay checks to get a big tattoo on his arm. the sorcerer’s stone cover art, in tribute to the series that had meant so much to them.

When Rowling started making problematic statements, Speed ​​said it was just exhausting.

“Why now would you choose to do this? You take the wind from the Black Lives movement and direct attention in this horrible way, “they said.

“I just had another wave of shame about my tattoo and I feel like maybe I should cover it up. ”

But they will not do it. They said that even Rowling’s statements could not remove this Harry potter gave it to them, and they wrote a Twitter thread talking about it.

As a transgender child, the idea of ​​the polyjuice potion was, of course, particularly suggestive. All I wanted was what I was not and what I could never be. I imagined who or what I would choose to look like … if only I could be different. 3/8

“In the fandom for a while now, we’ve talked about how Harry potter no longer belongs to him, it belongs to us, and how the good and beautiful things that came out of Harry potter didn’t come out of the books themselves but out of the community, “they said.

They themselves have contributed to this community by writing fanfictions and attending conferences.

“The beautiful feelings of acceptance and love that we exude from these books are in my opinion at least, knowing that so many other people have read them and have had the same experience as me, it is not necessarily something something JK Rowling gave us but something we created for ourselves, “they said.

They just wouldn’t be who they are now without the magic of Harry potter.

“It has given people hope in many ways, I think, by thinking of different ways in which magic can change your life. I cannot deny it. “



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