GLAAD sat down with Jackson Bird of the Harry Potter Alliance


Alex Schmider, GLAAD's Senior Transgender Media Strategist, sat down with Jackson Bird -- content creator, speaker, and wizard activist -- for a candid conversation at VidCon, the annual online video conference that brings content creators, fans, and aspiring digital filmmakers from around the world to Anaheim, California. 

Bird, whose YouTube channel addresses topics from gender identity to social justice, new media and fan activism (as well as addressing the burning question of what happens to various objects placed in a waffle iron) is also the Communications Director at The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) where he produces the HPA's online videos, which have been featured on Upworthy, the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Mashable, among others. 

The HPA, which Bird describes as a "Dumbledore's army for the real world," is a non-profit organization that uses Harry Potter and other fandoms to turn fans into heroes by making advocacy work accessible to everyone through the power of storytelling, mobilizing fans and their enthusiasm around social action. 

The Protego campaign is the latest effort launched by the HPA. In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter book series, Protego is a powerful shield spell used throughout the magical world to make it a safer place.The HPA's Protego campaign is dedicated to equipping people with the tools they need to make the world a safer and better place for transgender people. The goal is to empower trans and gender nonconforming people, educate cisgender (non-transgender) people about how to be effective allies, and provide resources for everyone to take action on individual, community, and policy levels to create safe and affirming spaces. Check out the Protego toolkit

Watch the full interview to hear more about the Harry Potter Alliance, the Protego campaign, the importance of positive LGBTQ visibility and representation, the power of social media to cultivate community, and an answer to the burning question "Will It Waffle?"

  • Check out the HPA's website for more information about how to get involved:
  • Get involved with the Protego campaign:
  • Subscribe and follow Jackson Bird on his YouTube channel: