Episode #469: Why J.K. Rowling Is Wrong About Trans People

On this special edition of MuggleCast, the hosts are joined by Dr. Sarah Steelman (Marriage & Family Therapist, Ph.D., LMFT) to discuss J.K. Rowling’s recent tweets and open letter regarding trans people. We review her statements and why so many of them are wrong, share responses from around the Harry Potter community, and analyze our own feelings.

MuggleCast has donated $700 to Trans Lifeline to support transgender people during this difficult time. In addition, MuggleCast will be making the following changes to how we cover J.K. Rowling:

  • We will no longer speak about, promote, or review JKR’s projects outside of the Wizarding World.
  • We will no longer talk about what JKR is saying on Twitter, unless she’s hurting fans (again).
  • We will cover Wizarding World-related announcements and continue to review various elements, but we will avoid discussing JKR’s involvement, if any.
  • We will strive to highlight more fan projects to focus on the fandom who’s made this place what it is.

Given the sensitive nature of this conversation, please be aware that this episode carries a trigger warning. Below is a list of resources referenced in our show, for both those individuals looking to better educate themselves as allies and for those who are personally affected by recent events.

If you’re a LGBTQ person who needs to speak to someone:

  • The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386
    Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860

Other resources:

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Episode #450: Weekend at Hogwarts (OOTP 14, ‘Percy and Padfoot’)

  • Micah’s back and FINALLY received a Wizarding World Gold pin!
  • Muggle Mail covers Founder wands, House points, SPEW and Harry Potter tattoos
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Order of the Phoenix – Chapter 14: Percy and Padfoot
  • 7-Word Summary: Saturday begins with letter sending from Harry
  • Harry does a really good job of hiding the truth when writing to Sirius. Do we think this a quality that Harry possesses or just JKR’s clever writing?
  • The hosts take a shot at cryptically describing each other
  • Thestrals Alert! If we were Harry, would we be concerned we’re seeing ominous creatures randomly around Hogwarts? We compare it to the grim in Book 3 and the basilisk in Book 2!
  • The hosts discuss what it means for Cho to believe in Harry
  • The Daily Prophet: Padfoot and Podmore
  • Why was Slytherin allowed to watch Gryffindor’s Quidditch practice? Shouldn’t it be closed, especially to opposing teams?
  • Percy’s letter: what does it reveal about the Ministry? About his true character? We read several of Percy’s passages in our best Dr. Evil voices!
  • Does Percy truly believe Dolores Umbridge is a nice person? Do we think he is really concerned about Ron? Or is this an attempt by Fudge and Umbridge to sow discord between Ron and Harry?
  • Which Fireplace Sirius was better: Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix?
  • The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters
  • The Ministry believes Dumbledore is forming an Army!
  • Reckless and bitter Sirius: do his comments about James hurt Harry?
  • Umbridge Suck Count, Connecting The Threads, MVP of the Week and Rename The Chapter
  • Quizzitch: Professor McGonagall has been teaching at Hogwarts for how many years (at the time of Order of the Phoenix)?
  • This week’s episode is sponsored by OpenFit, a fantastic way to workout at home at great prices! Text ‘mugglecast’ to 505050 to get a free two-week trial.

Download now (60.5 MB, 1:24:03)

Episode #449: Torturous Toad (OOTP 13, Detention With Dolores)


  • Reminder: MuggleCast is moving to Tuesdays! Each week we’ll have a new episode available bright and early.
  • A ‘flagship’ Harry Potter store has been announced, where we’ll be able to grab coffee, Butterbeer, and… ‘House Wands’?!
  • Chapter by Chapter: Order of the Phoenix Chapter 13, Detention with Dolores
  • This chapter is very unlucky for Harry. Are all Chapter 13’s in the Harry Potter series the same way?
  • Theory: Every chapter ever is unlucky for Harry.
  • Fred and George are getting away with their testing — until Hermione steps in. Why this moment was truly ‘below the belt’ for the twins.
  • What’s going on with Hermione and her crusade to free the elves? We don’t see her doing any work that the elves do.
  • We learn that Bowtruckles can actually be quite evil. How could Newt keep one so close to his eye balls? It’s Security Nightmare: Pickett Edition!
  • Then again, they have leafy hands. How peaceful! What an enigma.
  • Malfoy drops some information that’s of interest to Harry, while Luna sticks up for The Chosen One in a big way.
  • Detention with Dolores: It’s in this scene where Umbridge goes from being an annoying teacher to a truly evil one.
  • Did Dumbledore or McGonagall know that this type of thing was going on? Should Harry have ratted Umbridge out? And did this ever happen again?
  • Quizzitch: What does Cho refer to Ron as? Answer on Twitter by tweeting @MuggleCast!
  • This week’s episode is sponsored by Care/Of! Get 50% off your first order of personalized vitamins by visiting TakeCareOf.com and using promo code ‘mugglecast50’ at checkout. Support MuggleCast by supporting our sponsors!

Download now (49 MB, 1:08:02)

Why J.K. Rowling’s Tweet Was Transphobic and Hurtful

 

In this special installment, Rori Porter, a transfemme member of the Harry Potter fandom, joins the MuggleCasters to discuss why J.K. Rowling’s December 19th tweet was transphobic and hurtful.

Rori explains the court battle the tweet is in reference to, what Rowling’s doing by saying this, and how it affects trans people. We also discuss the role inclusion and acceptance has played in the Harry Potter fandom, and where we go from here.

Check out TransStudent.org to learn more about the trans community, and click here to read Rori’s piece published to Medium.

Download Now (37:58, 27.3 MB)

Episode #441: Brian? (OOTP Chapter 8, The Hearing)

  • Mike from Potterless Podcast joins the show! He shares why he got into the series so late and some of the moments that shocked him the most.
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 – The Hearing
  • 7-Word Summary: Harry is attacked by Fudge but Dumbledore prevails
  • Have any of us ever been before a judge?
  • Given Harry is being charged with UNDERAGE magic, isn’t it ridiculous an adult can’t accompany him to trial?
  • Where exactly was Harry’s owl sent? Was it even sent at all?
  • We’re introduced to Fudge’s “right-hand“ woman… Dolores Jane Umbridge!
  • Why do we think Dumbledore arrived at the Ministry three hours early?
  • Given the number of people required for this trial, there is no way the time and location wasn’t changed at least the night prior!
  • By changing the time, is the Ministry hoping Harry would need to use magic, getting him into further trouble?
  • Is Ms. Figg a credible witness? We debate if she really saw the Dementors!
  • Dumbledore makes Fudge SUPER uncomfortable!
  • Who really sent the Dementors? Voldemort? The Ministry?
  • Do we think Fudge made the decision to implement Umbridge at Hogwarts before or after the trial?
  • Would Harry have prevailed without Dumbledore present?
  • What’s up with Harry’s heart swelling to unnatural size?
  • This could have all been solved with a little bit of Veritaserum!
  • The Umbridge sucks count grows by 2!
  • We Connect The Threads, Rename The Chapter and give our MVPs of the Week
  • Quizzitch: What nickname does Malfoy give Harry while at the Ministry?
  • Join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including early access to the show via our live streams!
  • Thanks to this week’s sponsor: Wondery’s new podcast Bad Batch, an investigative series.

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Running time: 1:17:17, 46.4 MB