Gender Swap Harry Potter Fanfic!

Hello beautiful humans!

I’m excited to announce that I have started writing a fan fiction of the Harry Potter series! I will be rewriting all the novels with the same general plot, but a few key differences. The main difference is that Harry will now be Ari, Ariana Potter. Along with this gender swap, the majority of the main characters will have gender swaps as well as various ethnic backgrounds and intersecting identities. There will be LGBT+ characters, POC characters, and more!

As an adult writer I felt somewhat discouraged about embarking on this project. Fanfiction is a great practice for young writers because it gives a structure or general concept to follow and freely write. As an adult concerned with making money, working on an unprofitable project like a fanfic seems counterintuitive. And yet here we are.

The idea for this rewrite has been sitting on my mind for a while. I reread the series often (it’s my favorite) and the more I grow and learn as an individual, the more I see the untapped potential in the story. I see missed opportunities. And this fanfic idea has been screaming at my brain, “Just write me already!”

JK Rowling has been criticized in the past for white washing her series and being lazy about her research on ethnic characters. Beyond that, I feel the story does play into certain gender roles that could be challenged. There’s also a stark lack of LGBT+ characters in the novels even though they must exist in the wizarding world because so many exist in reality. Beyond all that I’m curious to see how we can explore themes of sexism, racism, ableism, transphobia, gayphobia, and more in this rewrite.

I’m aware of the potential problems of writing about characters of color and other identities that I don’t share. That said, I am going to do my part to research different identities as I write to make sure my portrayals are real and not two dimensional. As a bisexual Cuban-American I find it best to keep Ari Potter herself as a bisexual Latinx girl. This way the main conflicts addressed will be from a perspective I am acutely familiar with. I also want to avoid tokenization of certain groups by making sure that they aren’t just there for show. When those characters come up, if I am successful, they will feel like real people facing real issues like anyone else. In so doing, I hope to shed light on where we are different, but also where our experiences overlap. This is how we can navigate the waters of diversity with empathy: by opening ourselves up to the lived experiences of others and seeing where we align while accepting what we can’t know first hand.

I’ve already created the site for this facfic so that you can follow along! I will post each book one at a time, so it’ll be a bit before book one is available. Until then I will be opening up discussion questions and sharing illustrations I’m creating for the story. I encourage anyone interested to interact with the site and make this a collective experience for all of us. I’m really excited about this project and hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Love always,

Aly

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