Competitors warm up for a match of Quidditch, Harry Potter’s magical and fictional game, during the 4th Quidditch World Cup, in New York, on November 13, 2010. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty) Quidditch, based on the fictional game in the Harry Potter books, is drawing more and more LGBT+ players, despite recent anti-trans comments from author JK Rowling.
Since 2005 the game, sometimes referred to as muggle Quidditch, has been played in real life with the first Quidditch World Cup taking place in 2007. It involves two teams of seven players, who run around the hockey-sized pitch mounted on broomsticks.
New Zealand Quidditch player Emma Humphrey, who recently moved to London to play the sport more competitively, told the RNZ Summer Report that it was “the only full-contact mixed-gender sport”, which also makes it one of the most inclusive.
She continued: “When I say mixed gender sport I mean male, female and everyone in between. So you’ve got trans … agender, and people in transition as well.
“We do attract a lot of people from the LGBT+ community… Because generally when you look at most segregated sports, they’re not given a platform to get some serious competition.” The snitch runner poses in their uniform during the Crumpet Cup quidditch tournament. (Jack Taylor/Getty) According to the International Quidditch Association (IQA) : “Quidditch is an inclusive sport that does not accept any kind of discrimination. All Quidditch athletes have the right to define how they identify and it is this stated gender that is recognised on pitch.
“Many players have found, for the first time, a team sport that recognises them as they are. The ‘four maximum’ rule of Quidditch states that there may be no more than four players of the same gender on pitch at one time, ensuring the sport is inclusive to all genders and that gender diversity is always maintained on the field of play.” It’s really something that J.K. Rowling is a terf, because the real-life version of quidditch is open to trans and enby players by design. I wonder what she thinks of that…
— Katie (62 days until JoJo Siwa!) (@TheAusomeAutie) December 27, 2019 However, the inclusivity of Quidditch seems to be at odds with the recent anti-trans comments by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
In December, Rowling voiced her support for a woman who pursued legal action to have “gender-critical views” protected under the UK Equalities Act.
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After a judge ruled that anti-trans or gender critical views are not a protected characteristic, Rowling wrote on Twitter: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”
Luckily, it seems that the sport of Quidditch will not be following suit, and that inclusive teams will be distancing themselves from Rowling.
After the author made the anti-trans comments, the German Quidditch team Düsseldorf Dementors wrote on Twitter: “In light of the current situation we would like to declare that we stand with trans people… that we will always have a place for people of any gender.” As quidditch players we cannot truly deny where our sport originates from. And we don’t necessarily have to. We may enjoy a story even if we have little to no regard for the author.
— Düsseldorf Dementors (@DD_Quidditch) December 20, 2019 The team added: “As Quidditch players we cannot truly deny where our sport originates from. And we don’t necessarily have to.
“We may enjoy a story even if we have little to no regard for the author… JKR may have created that world, but she does not get to dictate how we experience it.”