Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy aren’t queer, but their counterparts in Rainbow Rowell’s novel Carry On, Simon Snow and Basilton “Baz” Grimm-Pitch, are.
In our current “post-Potter” age, a new crop of published queer magic boarding school novels has emerged that directly challenge the lack of LGBT representation in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Collectively, they reimagine a series that was quintessential for the childhood and teenaged years of many young queer people, by giving them center stage.
These published stories are expanding the limited space for queer people in the magical boarding school genre by taking core elements of Harry Potter—what it means to be a Chosen One, tropes of villainy, magical societies, living in boarding school, school romance—and making it queer.
The publication dates of these new novels all occur after the end of the Harry Potter series in 2007, and this is no coincidence. Why did these stories start popping up after the Deathly Hallows’ release? Looking at the magical boarding school genre that came before these queer stories—namely Harry Potter—is a good place to start.