Motherwell: I Have a Trans Teen. This Is Why It’s Hard to Be a Harry Potter Fan Right Now.
Note from Carrie: This piece was featured as one of Motherwell Magazine’s Top Ten Most Read Pieces of 2020. This was a personal essay about the conflict our family feels as Harry Potter fans with a trans child. We struggle to reconcile J.K. Rowlings’ comments about trans people with the message of acceptance found in the Harry Potter books.
By Carrie Goldman
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was first published in July of 2007, my husband and I splurged and pre-ordered two hardcover copies—an unthinkable luxury—so we could both read the long-awaited finale to the epic series.
That summer, I was in the thick of trying to nurse my newborn, A, a wisp of a child with gorgeous long-lashed brown eyes. Futile attempts at breastfeeding A led to bout after bout of mastitis, landing me in the hospital on IV antibiotics right after the Fourth of July weekend. One of the things that kept me going was my excitement about the upcoming Harry Potter book release.
The first time I left A with someone else was in the third week of July when my husband and I hired a babysitter to watch A and our easygoing three-year-old daughter, K, so we could walk down the street and eat dinner at a restaurant. We brought our respective copies of Harry Potter, sat outside on a glorious evening, and read in contented silence until the last rays of sunlight dipped out of the sky.