For the last few weeks, I’ve been in conflict. Should I buy Hogwarts Legacy or not? I bought it once, then refunded it on Steam. I didn’t want to support someone over her history of transphobia. I also am a massive fan of Harry Potter. Hufflepuff for life!
In 1998, I was in grade 8 and my mom bought me Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I read it in a few days, going to Chapters the next day to pick up the next book. My mother and I would talk about the first two books for hours. We would wait in line for the following books and watch the movies together. Harry Potter bought my mother and me closer.
According to philanthropicpeople.com, in 2011, Rowling went from billionaire status to millionaire status when she donated 160-million dollars to various charities. She has always been a champion against poverty and for children. In 2005 Rowling founded a charity, LUMOS, to end the institutionalization of children. She inspired a whole generation of kids to read. Rowling is not a bad person.
Rowling is also not a good person, either, with her transphobic views. Glamour.com says it wasn’t until June 2020 that her transphobic views came to light. If she were to die tomorrow, the world would remember her as a transphobic writer instead of the billionaire that became a millionaire by donating to others.
People.com mentions Rowling has both criticized Donald Trump and defended his free speech. The same people who burned her books because they believed she promoted Satanism are now praising her for her transphobic views. Rowling is a morally grey character. We all have our choices to make and live with the consequences.
I bought the game. I also donated to The Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA); I will be donating what I get paid for this article to the society. I no longer feel guilty for buying the game. I would never have donated money to TESA if it were not for that game. I would have instead donated to the MS Society of Canada. My mother, who I love, has that horrible disease. Rowling donated to the Scottish version of that charity.
And to be honest, the game is a blast! Flying around on a boomstick and visiting all the movies’ locations gave me some of the best nostalgic feelings. It reminded me of the memories I had growing up with my mom. The game is not perfect; it has some PC graphical issues. But the story kept me on edge to the point where I put in 32 hours in the first six days.
If buying a game makes me transphobic, not buying it would mean I support people getting diagnosed with MS, ending up in poverty and keeping children in orphanages. That is just a silly argument to make–the world is not that black and white. People are complicated and will buy the game for many reasons. But in the end, there are more Snape’s than Umbridge’s in the world.
Rowling can still change her transphobic views or be remembered in the history books as the transphobic that wrote Harry Potter, and the choice is hers. Just like the choice was mine to buy the game, and will be yours if you choose to as well. But I encourage you to play Hogwarts Legacy and donate to a charity supporting transgender people to expelliarmus the art from the artist.
“Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”—Emma Watson, Twitter, June 10, 2020