There has been a lot of failed allyship surrounding Hogwarts Legacy and I am tired of talking about this game on social media. So lets do an article and never talk about it again.

Truly it has been a very disappointing week as an admittedly very online transgender™. For me the most disappointing part has been watching allies etc promote or otherwise support transphobic takes and framings.

Failed allyship often believes it is actually defending or supporting our community by doing so. Calling out the bad actors leaves more room for the good ones right? Not really. Not when you’re including anyone who posts spoilers of Hogwarts Legacy on the same list as the racists who posted spoilers of Star Wars for its inclusion of people of colour.

I criticised this failed allyship because it isn’t fair to suggest that someone doing bad things for bad reasons is the equivalent of people doing those same things for not-bad reasons. The example I gave was the acts of disobedience such as bombings and rock throwings by the suffragettes – we don’t frame that the same way we frame a white supremacist terror attack because they are obviously not the same.

Another example could be regarding the idea that you “shouldn’t call someone something they don’t want to be called”. This is a principle I, as a transgender woman no less, can certainly get behind in a general sense. But I can also recognise that it falls apart when it comes to people who are transphobic but don’t want to be called transphobic or the whole of the “don’t call me cis I’m normal” crowd.

Things aren’t clean cut and rules like “don’t post spoilers” should really only be enforced after human rights for all people. Not before.

Elsewhere in failed allyship we saw people falling over themselves to mop up the tears of a cisgender woman who may or may not have even actually cried. I don’t know and I don’t particularly care. The focus should never have been on the streamers feelings because the streamer isn’t the marginalised group being mistreated – the focus should have always been on transgender people and what we were feeling watching failed allyship defend its bad choices.

Defense which as I wrote about in my previous piece covering that stream largely involved berating the audience for criticising them. Obviously I can’t see what was deleted from the chat by moderators and do not condone hateful comments but equally I haven’t seen any evidence of hateful comments from the audience. It’s just been sort of taken as a given that trans people had been sending death threats, being abusive or harassing people.

It’s this exact framing I criticised with that piece because its the exact same framing we’ve seen regarding trans people across the media since this moral panic started to take hold. Trans people can’t simply criticise someone for doing something bad, no no, that’s an attack. We basically assault people every time we say “hello”, don’t you know.

That’s why I describe all of the above as failed allyship. It leans into that framing of trans people as a violent, angry, abusive and hateful mob. A framing which just isn’t true, exists to demonise us and is even managing to cause infighting amongst our community. As some trans and nonbinary people speak out against those of us who supposedly support bullying.

I don’t support bullying – even despite the post I wrote that explicitly says you should bully people playing Hogwarts Legacy. I thought it was a given that I was being sarcastic, given all of my other takes on the issue about how trans people are objectively not bullying people by criticising them for playing this bad game. Apparently not! Lesson learned on that I guess.

Further showings of failed allyship include the idea of playing the game but doing it as a charity stream. Which all comes across very Tim Minchin’s “fuck the poor” to me. The line “I’ll give you fifty bucks to take away my guilt” is jumping right out of the speakers. Because yeah, that’s what’s happening here. They wanted to play the wizard game and they thought they could simply avoid criticism for that if they raised money for charity.

A fact which is hammered home further by the amount of people and failed allies in my mentions blaming trans people for losing all of the money that could have been raised if we’d just supported the streamers instead. As if those streamers could not possibly have raised money for LGBTQIA+ and specifically trans charities any other way, it had to be through this one game and this one game alone, and we are to blame for ruining that! Obviously!

And the worst part of it is that a lot of this is silly and ridiculous and should never have been as big a deal as it was – for allies. But somehow they really knocked it out of the park in making a simple choice to stand in solidarity with us a whole few weeks worth of agonising discourse about every little aspect of this crap. From the efficacy of boycotts to whether it will affect JKR’s transphobia, we’ve talked it all!

Quick tldr; No I don’t think you’re transphobic for playing the wizard game – I just don’t think you’re an ally and if you’re a content creator I don’t want to support your content further. No I don’t think that the boycott was ever about having a material impact on JK Rowling’s wealth or ego. I do not think that sales of the game will impact her transphobia negatively or positively – I think she will remain transphobic irrespective of anything else.

The boycott was literally just a gesture to show solidarity where the most you were asked for was to not buy the game with the bare minimum being just don’t tell us if you did. That was it. That’s what all this hoo-ha is for, and it’s completely wild and justifiably rage-inducing that so many people fucked this up as badly as they did.

This whole thing has been a demonstration in failed allyship and although it is sad to see so many otherwise pretty okay people tearing themselves apart over such basic solidarity. I am also somewhat heartened by the amount of allies who didn’t do that. Shout out to all the badasses who got it and didn’t spend time leaning into transphobic narratives. Good job!

If you see me talking about Hogwarts Legacy on social media after the date of this post you have full permission to yell at me “Gemma, shut the fuck up about this you said you would”.