The Head Wizards and Prefects of Wizard Way of the Ozarks feel that it's very important for us to continually acknowledge that Transgender and Non-binary people are a valid and a very integral and valued part of the Potterverse Fan Community.
If you've been following JKR's thoughts and statements throughout the past few years, it may have left you feeling very disappointed, betrayed, and even angry, as it did us and many of the actors and crew that worked on the films. For over 20 years now, the collective 'we' have built an indestructible community together. Countless people have used these books and fan fiction to explore their own identities while spreading love and acceptance. Needless to say, we see the underlying themes in the series to be very contrary to JKR's words of ignorance. We personally have family, friends, and loved ones who identify as transgender or non-binary, so we can firmly say that a verbal act of abuse against those folks is one against all of us.
Wizard Way of the Ozarks is an event celebrating the experience of fandom and the long histories, nostalgia, and love that has (for many of us) been part of the better portion of our lives. While we focus on the Potterverse, we are not endorsed or sanctioned by JKR or WB. In fact, the values our community holds close are very much opposed to the fear and hatred that JKR has been spreading about members of the trans and non-binary communities in recent years.
We will continue to celebrate the literature we all love, not only joyfully but also critically, and we will not shy away from discussing complex topics, especially those that affect marginalized communities. We want folks that attend our festival to explore and express themselves without fear. It’s a central part of our mission to make our spaces safe and welcoming. Anyone that encounters otherwise should contact us immediately so we can make sure it doesn't happen again.
Our shared love of stories brought us together and for that we are forever grateful. Remember though that this community is about something much bigger than the idolization of one flawed person. We will focus on the happiness and joy that comes from our shared interests, passions, and experiences, and we will not merit or endorse ignorance.