Nixon, who identifies as a lesbian herself, spoke about the effect the author’s transphobic attacks had on Nixon’s 23-year-old transgender son, Samuel.
“It was really painful for him because so much of his childhood was tied up with Harry Potter,” Nixon told The Independent. “We’re a Harry Potter family. The books seem to be about championing people who are different, so for her to select this one group of people who are obviously different and sort of deny their existence, it’s just… it’s really baffling. I know she feels like she’s standing up for feminism, but I don’t get it.”
Still, for Nixon, Rowling’s remarks aren’t enough to sully the entire legacy of the Potter series. She remains a fan of the books, and is even part-way through a Harry Potter movie marathon with her other son, Max. The actress paraphrases Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe’s rebuke of Rowling when it comes to finding LGBTQ themes in the book series.
“The thing that he tried to impart to people was that if you as a queer person or as a non-queer person have found a home in these stories, please don’t let this take that away from you,” Nixon noted. “These are still your stories.”
JK Rowling has endured wide criticism this year, initially sparked by her support on Twitter for Maya Forstater, a woman who lost her job after making offensive comments about transgender people. When social media backlash ensued, Rowling doubled down on her stance, eventually publishing an essay defending her remarks and criticizing transgender women for labeling themselves female even though they don’t menstruate. She subsequently also tweeted comments insinuating that transpeople should be prescribed antidepressants instead of hormones. Most recently, Rowling announced that her new mystery novel Troubled Blood features a cross-dressing killer, a storyline that reinforces the trope of equating transgender people with violent psychopaths.
Cynthia Nixon will next appear in the Netflix series Ratched.