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Crossdressing: One Big Harry Potter Adventure

| Jun 27, 2011
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I’m not a big fan of Harry Potter but I can’t help notice the similarities between his world of wizardry and the special world I inhabit. For the benefit of those few who have spent the last 15 years buried in an Antarctic ice cave or in some other place of total isolation Harry Potter is the hero of a series of popular novels and movies about the lives and conflicts within a wizard society that exists largely unknown to our world. The books have titles such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S.), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, etc.

The author of the books, J.K. Rowling, builds a very exciting and surprisingly detailed and believable world of magicians and wizards who live parallel lives to the rest of us living in the non-wizard world. This world of wizards is largely unnoticed and unknown to we outsiders who are referred to as Muggles. I will have more to say about Muggles later.

The world of Harry Potter has a lot in common with the world of crossdressers and the transgender community as a whole.  For instance we crossdressers live for a magical transformation.  It may take a bit more than the wave of a wand; it may take a series of make-up wands, brushes, lip sticks and other gadgets but eventually we become proficient at transforming ourselves from one human image to another.

Miss Potter after a session in The Chamber of Secrets.

Then take one of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I haven’t read this book but for me the title conjures up images of Harry having a secret cache of women’s clothing in the rafters of his garage or perhaps in a locker at the nearest storage facility. Who among us doesn’t have or hasn’t once had a ‘chamber of secrets’.  Perhaps, like one of my friends, Harry Potter has a locker outfitted with a dressing table and chair, complete with mirror and places for makeup. Almost every Saturday night my friend enters his chamber only to emerge a short time later as a ravishing red-headed beauty.  I read in a newspaper once of a woman who happened to see her husband entering the Public Storage facility where I had my locker. She later found what she thought might be his key, talked the facility manager in to letting her access his locker and found in his ‘chamber of secrets’ a collection of dresses and other items far more elaborate and extensive than her own. He was soon magically transformed into a single person.

Is it possible that the entire Harry Potter series is one long allegory about life in the transgender world?
Is it possible that J.K. Rowling sprinkles hints about this allegoric status throughout her books?

For instance all in the transgender world know of the 1960s New York City bar called The Stonewall and the riots that occurred there when the drag queens decided they weren’t going to take any more police harassment.  But did you know that Rowling chose Stonewall High for the name of the school Harry Potter would have attended if he hadn’t been accepted to Hogwarts, the boarding school for young magicians. Is Rowling saying that if the Stonewall riots hadn’t occurred in 1968 young Harry would have had a very different life?  Rowling also refers to the Stonewall Stormers from Manitoba, Canada as one of the best quidditch teams in the world. It’s worth thinking about why that name Stonewall keeps appearing in the Harry Potter books

Next point: each September the young magicians-in-training take a train from Platform 9¾ of a London station to Hogwarts School. I don’t want to be accused of reading too much in to it but the first time I saw a Harry Potter movie it seemed as if the walk through the station, past Platforms 7-8-9 to suddenly come across Platform 9 ¾ — seen only by those with wizard in their genes — was very much like many trips I’ve taken down city streets looking for the back alley entrances to the local gay and/or drag bar. Remember the back entrance to the Queen Mary in Los Angeles? Or perhaps you remember the rear parking lot entrance to Backstreet in Atlanta? Doesn’t the Parliament House resort in Orlando have a somewhat tropical Hogwarts feel to it with its rooms specializing in the sale of literature, lotions and dungeon-like devices? The neighborhood around Jacques in Boston could have been the model for the narrow streets in Hogsmeade and other locations in the wizard world.

Isn’t a year at Hogwarts School just like a few days at a transgender ‘event’ such as Southern Comfort, Esprit or Beauty and the Beach? Very early in each event there will be a big party/dinner to get to know each other and to ‘break the ice’. It’s the same at Hogwarts where the school gathers for the headmaster’s address. Then in both cases the participants disperse to various activities, to unpack — what CD ever gets that done? — and to get to know their roommates.

Potter and his young colleagues spend a lot of their time studying and practicing the creation and use of potions. What serious crossdresser hasn’t spent many similar hours working on the right formulae to get the perfect foundation tone, lipstick and mascara for our face?

What about all the long hair and long gowns among the adult male wizards at Hogwarts? In a Harry Potter movie do you ever see a senior wizard wearing a pair of pants? Isn’t that just like a t-party? There’s nothing but skirts, dresses and long wigs for me at a transgender event. In fact the last event I attended I used a wig very similar to the hair of Potter character Severus Snape. I also love the long hair and elaborate gowns favoured by the headmaster,  Dumbledore (but I’m not wild about his beard).

Emma Watson’s new hair cut lends credence to Linda’s assertion.

What about Harry’s friend Hermione, you might ask. How does she fit in to this? Hermione is cute but a close look with our expert eyes at her narrow hips, somewhat deep voice and small breasts will out her as a transsexual, possibly post-op. Perhaps Rowling allegorizes Hermione’s gender switch by giving her an identity where she was born ‘to Muggle parents.’ There is no doubt in my mind that Hermione started life as a sweet young boy named Herman.

Ah those Muggles!  It is their existence that keys me to the close similarity between Potter’s wizard world and our TG world. In the Harry Potter books Muggles are all “non-magical folk. Muggles are for the most part oblivious to the entire society of magical people which exists alongside their own.” Isn’t that just like our so-called ‘straight society’? Doesn’t that perfectly describe many of our neighbors?

My neighbors would have no idea of the transgender world and particularly of my part in it. Yet late at night Linda is often out among them. They know little of the crossdressing world and they care to know less. When they come across it they are mystified and somewhat xenophobic.

In the Potter books Muggles (the name is always capitalized) are easily convinced that the world of magic does not exist because they prefer to believe that it does not exist. They find non-magical reasons for things that happen to them or to others. It’s the same in our t-world. Our muggles (lower case for easier comparison) seem to will the world of crossdressing out of their mind by simply lumping it in to the larger world of homosexuality. When they come across one of us they simply assume if he likes to wear a dress he must be gay. How strange is that? Most of the gay men I know wear mustaches. They would look funny in dresses and make-up. Most of the police officers I know also wear mustaches. Our muggles could just as easily be saying “that officer has a mustache; he must be gay.”

In the Potter books there exists a Muggle Protection Act to ensure that the wizard world stays securely hidden from Muggle eyes. We often protect our muggles by keeping them ignorant of special events such as transgender conventions and drag bars.

In the Potter books when a Muggle witnesses an event or creature from the wizard world, such as a dragon, the Ministry of Magic will send someone known as an ‘obliviator’ to wipe that memory from the Muggle’s mind. The same must happen in our muggle world because many times when I meet one of our muggles taking a ‘walk on the wild side.’ We have a nice intimate evening together and after that I have no contact with him. It’s as if someone has arranged that he forget the event.

What of the muggles that are closest to us, our partners? I’m lucky that my muggle partner is enlightened and accepting of our magical t-world. That is not always the case. I have heard of muggles that upon learning of their partner’s special t-status they have made themselves and half his assets just disappear.

We in the sub-world of crossdressing should appreciate the efforts by the more adventurous among us who are trying to bring enlightenment to our muggles. I tip my be-wigged head to those from our world that willingly open their world to their muggle neighbors. They create enlightenment among the unknowing and they open the doors to better understanding by our muggles and closer cohabitation of our mutual communities sometime in the future.

I had a wonderful weekend of discovery spent browsing through a collection of Harry Potter books. I had no idea of the close parallels in his world and mine. Somehow reading of the world of wizards and magicians has made my world make more sense.

Now, I’ll  more confidently click along in my high-heeled parallel world looking forward to the next adventure, Harry Potter and the Comfortable Gaff.

Postscript: For years I assumed that the world of Harry Potter, magicians and wizards was merely a work of fiction. Then I read that one of the young wizards’ favorite games was to play tricks on us Muggles. For instance they like to shrink our common objects until the object was invisible to the naked eye. For instance they would shrink our keys — house keys, car keys, etc — until we could not see them. Not believing in magic we would assume we had lost the keys. That’s very funny stuff if you are a wizard.

Perhaps that explains what’s been happening to my Linda wardrobe. Some playful wizard has been shrinking all my skirts and dresses. They’ve all been getting a lot tighter lately. I’d assumed it was because I was no longer running as much as in my younger days but now it is comforting to know that this change may not be my fault. Grow up you wizard and return my skirts to their proper size! Don’t worry about the keys. I had my house re-keyed.


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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

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