Reports from LeakyCon 2022 in Orlando

As readers here know, my track record with predictions is best described as “spotty.” I’ve had some decent ‘hits’ in guessing about future Harry Potter story turns and Strike twists but the ‘misses’ have been spectacular. My two most involved theories, ‘Periscope Harry’ in Unlocking Harry Potter and ‘Heroin Dark Lord‘ on this site, were so far off from the reality of what Rowling was planning that you’d think any semblance of shame would prevent my further speculation.

I like to note, however, when one of my best guesses turns out to be spot on, which seems to be the case with respect to the recent Leaky Con 2022 gathering in Orlando, Florida.

I predicted in early May that this fan convention would be a woke festival of Rowling Reviling. It wasn’t much of a prediction really, because Mischief Management said on the back pages of their web site in the fine print that this was the mission of the post Covid, post Trans Tweets Tsunami, Leaky Con. It didn’t take a Trelawney or a gift with a Crystal Ball to forecast that a group’s mission statement, to which all players have signed on, will guide the event in question. From that post here in May:

Leaky Con has gone full WOKE as well. If you doubt that, I urge you to read the pages that are not front and center on their web site or mentioned in their marketing emails. There is thisStatement from Leaky-Con about J. K. Rowling,’ for example. If you found that page, you’d learn that Leaky is “staunchly opposed to the fear and hatred that J.K. Rowling has been spreading about members of the trans and non-binary communities in recent years” and you’ll be told to read the GLAAD J. K. Rowling “accountability” “fact sheet,” on which page Rowling’s views are misrepresented and belittled.

You’d learn at their ‘Statement,’ too, that their aim is “to further distance ourselves from an author whose platitudes endanger people we care about” and that “we are actively reaching out to people within the trans and non-binary communities to ensure that we are meeting our goals.” At the very bottom of the page in miniscule type there is the message, “Learn more about LeakyCon’s ongoing commitment to inclusion here.”

That link takes you to the Chamber of Secrets, the Leaky Con 2022 Event Mission PolicyEvery single one of the Leaky Con five departments have taken the pledge to re-focus what they do as resistance to “the author of the Harry Potter series” who “has used her platform to promote harmful, transphobic rhetoric and actions.” Beyond a seemingly beyond irony commitment to not using Rowling’s name — literally ‘She Who Must Not Be Named’ — all of Leaky Con’s “mission” now is advocacy of trans-rights. Who knew that this ultra-WOKE thinking was the heart and soul of Harry Potter fandom?

The first reports are in, and, not too surprisingly, those on board with making Rowling not only ‘She Who Must Not Be Named’ but also ‘She Must Be Disparaged,’ loved Leaky Con 2022 Orlando. See @LeakyCon and the various online website for pictures and rave reviews. Those who had not read the fine print at the LeakyCon registration pages, though, if they admire J. K. Rowling or are not totally on board with the celebration of everything “woke,” had a rude surprise waiting for them in Florida.

This is not the raving of a lunatic hater, just a disappointed fan who had high expectations shattered.

I made one other prediction in my May post about Leaky Con 2022 Orlando, namely, that the draconian mRNA jab requirements and masking rules posted back then would be gone in July:

Perhaps, as with Disney, the Universal Studios theme parks and associated venues in the area for conventions and the like will be scaling back the mask and mRNA shot requirements in the coming months. Forgive me, but who at these venues is going to be policing an in-your-face, on-your-face mask policy and VAXX papers requirement in Orlando in July?

Sure enough, the pictures from this gathering show that only the super-zealot virtue-signalers were wearing masks and I doubt, per Florida’s civil liberties legislation around Covid, that the venue required proof of shots and boosters.

I have friends who were in attendance to ask if their experience was anything like Victoria Merkiel’s and will report as they respond. Feel free to share your experience in the comment boxes below.


  1. Louise Freeman says

    Obviously a very different set of selection criteria going on, but for what it’s worth, I am a member of Facebook’s “Weasley’s Whimsical World of Harry Potter” group, an fan page with nearly 60K members. I learned about it waiting in the Ravenclaw line for studio audience members in the Tournament of Houses; a number of contestants and near-contestants were members.

    The ground rules of the group read, in part: “Please refrain from posting anything that has political, religious, racist or sexual orientation undertones otherwise it will be deleted. NO drama is allowed in the group and will result in the post being deleted shall any occur. Also, please refrain from using extremely bad language or posting anything that would be considered vulgar or distasteful as we do have younger ones in the group and we like to consider ourselves family oriented. This group is meant to be fun and lighthearted and of course Whimsical!!” There were a lot of group members attending Leaky-Con and there have been lots of pictures of costumes and swag posted. All quite positive.

  2. I suspect this is much more a matter of self-selection rather than a disproof of the facts on the ground in Orlando. The woman who tweeted her disappointment was sadly naive in her hopes that Leaky Con be primarily about the books she loves (they never have been) and especially in her ideas that the author would not be serially denigrated. Those on this Facebook page — sounds like a fun group! — who went were obviously more reasonable in their expectations, had a core group of friends with whom to meet and relate, and, I suspect, were on board at least in part with Leaky Con’s stated mission of celebrating Radical Gender Theory with Rowling as the necessary Demon-To-Be-Reviled-by-All-Thinking-People.

  3. Thank you for speaking up. Without jk there would be no harry potter universe. She is allowed to her opinions in this beautiful free county the same way that others are free to speak against her. But it was childish and disrespectful when the panel presenter would make digs at JK. I used to love leakycon, I even attended the event outside the USA. But it has become too Woke, and ironically, a bit too close minded.

  4. How things have changed in a little over a decade. I went to Azkatraz back in 2009, only Potter conference I’ve been too. Aside from Andrew Slack’s banal plenary speech, it was relatively easy to avoid anything, how shall we say, too weird. People were pleasant and open to discussion, for the most part, aside from some gender feminists.

    I was even able to walk around in my clerical attire on one day of the convention without any comments or negativity directed my way. Well, except for the guy who thought he was a real wizard. Even then he just eyed me. I wouldn’t dare go to a Potter convention nowadays.

  5. Welcome back, Rev George! What a delight to see you in a comment thread…

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