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JK Rowling ruined Harry Potter for one superfan. So, she found a way to magic her old obsession into help for trans kids

Emma Powys Maurice September 4, 2020
Harry Potter

Mica Daly-Smith is parting ways with her Harry Potter collection (Image supplied)

A Harry Potter super fan is donating her collection of memorabilia to the transgender youth charity Mermaids after JK Rowling’s views tainted her favourite franchise.

Mica Daly-Smith, 29, began her Harry Potter collection at the age of 12 and has amassed hundreds of pounds’ worth of memorabilia, ranging from books and duvet covers to call sheets and film reels from the movies.

Like many fans, the wizarding world she once loved changed forever when JK Rowling started speaking out about trans rights. Now as Mica distances herself from the author, she’s put her beloved collection up for sale on eBay — with all proceeds going towards transgender children.

“I wish I could separate [JK Rowling] from her creation,” Mica told PinkNews. “But as a woman I looked up to her for so long, and was just as much a fan of hers as I was the series.

“Her name is so entwined with Harry Potter’s for me that I can’t look at the franchise I loved in the same way.”

Mica Daly-Smith (right) dressed as Bellatrix Lestrange for the launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (Image supplied)

Mica’s childhood collection began as gifts or homemade treasures, but as she grew older she started collecting in earnest.

“My age was right in the sweet spot for when the books first took off, so I’ve loved it since I was a kid. They were the first books I really fell in love with, the world appealed to me so much and it just grew from there,” she said.

Among her most prized possessions were actors’ call sheets from The Deathly Hallows, given to her by the film crew when she and her friends skipped college to visit the set in Wales.

“We camped over and watched them filming the Shell Cottage scenes,” she remembered. “We befriended some security guards who snuck us some food whilst we watched and sent us the call sheets after the scenes had wrapped.

“It was such an incredible day, we got to meet Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Evanna Lynch and the incredible icon that is Helena Bonham Carter! I was so starstruck.”

But Mica’s now giving it all up, as she can’t support the franchise while its creator continues to hurt the transgender community.

When Rowling first aligned herself with Maya Forstater – the woman who sought to have her “gender critical” views protected under equalities law – Mica was deeply disappointed but hoped she’d somehow misinterpreted the author. She soon learned that wasn’t the case as Rowling continued doubling down on her views, leaving no room for doubt.

Mica posing with Hagrid at a Harry Potter shop in Shrewsbury (Image supplied)

“The horrendous tweet mocking people for using inclusive language like ‘people who menstruate’ was what really had the red flag waving for me,” Mica said.

“To be so disrespectful to an entire community that already face so much adversity is disgusting as it is, but to do so when she has a platform as large as hers is disgraceful. She must know the damage she is causing.

“My heart broke for all the young trans fans who were let down by her so callously.”

As devastated as she was, her faith was partly was restored by the many Harry Potter cast members who stood firmly alongside the transgender community. “I’m really glad they spoke out, that added a little spark of magic in its own right,” Mica added.

Now as she steadfastly adds her prized collection to eBay, she has just one message for the author she used to admire more than anyone else: “Your Dursley-ish attitude is helping no one.”

“She needs to really think about what’s important and how best to show compassion to other people, especially when they’re just trying to live their lives and be themselves,” she continued.

“Perhaps we need to invent a spell or potion that conjures up some empathy?”

To view Mica’s eBay listing and donate to Mermaids, click here.

 

More: eBay, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, mermaids, transphobia

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