Hi! If you’re reading this it’s possible you’ve recently found my oft-neglected personal blog because of recent articles in Broadly, PinkNews and TeenVogue about a fan theory that Severus Snape is trans.
These pieces reference a post I made on this blog about how JKR’s character has many female associations in the text. That’s pretty cool someone read my thing. But I don’t think I deserve to take credit or blame (although why blame? if a theory doesn’t work for you, discard it and move on!) for this fan theory, and in the interest of full disclosure, it wasn’t where I was going at the time. But if people want to build on things I’ve said to get there, I’m okay with that too.
Because that’s the thing about stories and textual analysis. We all see different things and we all find different talismans, friends, and mentors in the ghostly true unreal people found in books. Snape was/is a super important character to me and helped me navigate a lot of stuff around a difficult childhood, a sense of exile, and the repercussions that had on me both good and terrible.
Anyway! These days, I’m mostly a romance novelist (go to Avian30.com if you’re curious), who writes all sorts of characters including heroes and villains and sometimes even bisexual, genderqueer people like me.
(which is to say, I did not declare Snape’s gender in the original piece, I was interested in a textural pattern I noticed that perhaps influenced the characters relateability for some female readers, and of course played into the long-standing tradition of queering the villain — which is both a thing that has been a matter of oppression and a way we have historically used to circumvent prohibitions against telling queer stories)
If something I wrote helped you get to trans Snape and that’s awesome for you? Awesome! If something I wrote makes you go grrrrrrr argggggggggh and have your totally different Snape theory? That’s cool too.
So what do I think of Snape? I think he’s a character we keep grappling with, and I think that’s what matters. Always.