Rant: Diversity in Harry Potter and other Fantasy Books
Did you hear the news? JK Rowling has just announced that there’s GAY students in the Harry Potter series. Holy shit balls! There’s Jewish kids too! Who would have ever thought that in a school as large as Hogwarts, that we would have such rich diversity? This is a great day for Jewish kids and gay kids too! Hogwarts doesn’t discriminate! Who would have thought?
Seriously? Did we need JK Rowling to tell us that Hogwarts had students from all different ethnicity and sexualities? How many kids do you think is in that place anyway? Definitely over a thousand. Statistically speaking, there’s going to be some gay kids, some Jewish kids and a bunch of others that would make Hogwarts a rewarding cultural blend.
Granted, JK Rowling has never specifically said before, or written about, gay or Jewish students, but come on! Use your imagination. Gay people are a fact of life. It’s going to happen. I bet magic to make someone straight would work probably just as good as gay conversion therapy. You don’t need to be specifically told that gay people exist in fantasy books. They are a natural occurrence. They are going to be there! Even if you hate gays, and Jewish people, and blacks, and fat people, and most everyone else that isn’t like you, they’re going to be in the fantasy books you read. They are even going to be in Harry Potter. I know! I’ve just ruined it for all the haters. Poor lil haters.
But why do we feel the need to throw our cultural stigmas into literature? Sure, it might make us feel better to know that the author of some of our favorite works supports who we are, but why is it even an issue to begin with? Harry Potter showed us inclusion, no matter who you were. Even if you were a half-blood, it wasn’t cool to be mean to them. Why would it have been any different for gay students and those with other religious views? And yes, I understand that it gives struggling youth hope and shows awesome support, I’m not dogging that. I’m ranting about news headlines making such a big fucking deal over this!
Fantasy books are just that. They are an escape from our reality for a time. Do you like gay people? Then you can already imagine a Hogwarts with gay people. Are you Jewish? Then you probably already imagine there are some Jewish people in Hogwarts. Don’t worry. Stop hating. If there can be a place for an asshole squib in Harry Potter, there’s probably a place for other people. I didn’t see Harry Potter filling out an application let alone marking that he wasn’t Jewish or gay, so it’s likely not even an issue at Hogwarts.
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