Queer Wizards and Witches: Magic in the Realm of Geekdom

The Evolving Role of LGBTQIA+ Spellcasters in Popular Fantasy

Queer Wizards and Witches: Magic in the Realm of Geekdom
(Image: Radio Power Strike)


Magic, in its many forms, has long been a conduit for tales of empowerment, self-discovery, and transformation. Yet, in the realm of geekdom, the portrayal of queer wizards and witches provides an additional layer of complexity and resonance. From the subtle undertones of yesteryears to the unapologetic depictions of today, the journey of LGBTQIA+ magic users mirrors the broader evolution of queer representation in media. This exploration delves deep into their enchanted world, spotlighting their significant impact on popular fantasy.

Hidden Enchantments: Early Queer Subtexts in Magic Lore

Historically, the portrayal of queer magicians was nuanced, often cloaked in allegory and subtext. Their identities were suggested, leaving much to the imagination and interpretation of astute readers and viewers.

For instance, in Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness”, the inhabitants of planet Gethen are ambisexual, shifting genders, a portrayal that defies binary norms. This unique form of magic provides commentary on fluidity and non-conformity.

In “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, the magical portrait and Dorian’s eternal youth serve as metaphors for the societal expectations surrounding beauty, morality, and the hidden nature of queer desire during Victorian times.

J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, although not explicit in the text, would later reveal Dumbledore’s homosexuality, hinting at deeper layers beneath the wizard’s wise demeanor and past relationships.

Spellcasting Out of the Closet: Bold Queer Representations

The turn of the century witnessed a renewed spirit, with queer wizards and witches stepping into the limelight, embracing their authentic selves and roles in narratives.

Take the “Carry On” series by Rainbow Rowell, which showcases a tumultuous romance between its wizard protagonists, Simon and Baz. Their relationship is central, exploring themes of acceptance, love, and magical rivalry.

In the world of television, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix introduced queer witch characters like Theo Putnam, addressing gender identity amidst witchy escapades and dark arts.

“Once & Future” by A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy presents a retelling of Arthurian legends with a queer twist, embedding both magic and LGBTQIA+ identities seamlessly into the story.

The Evolution of Queer Magic in Geekdom
Discover the transformative role of queer magic in geek culture through this infographic. It traces the evolution and representation of LGBTQIA+ themes in fantasy and gaming, highlighting key milestones and influential figures. (Image: Radio Power Strike)

Empowerment Through Enchantment: The Current Landscape and Beyond

The contemporary fantasy realm is marked by richer narratives where queer magic users are not just side characters but influential figures driving the story forward.

“Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn introduces a queer Merlin figure, showcasing a reimagined tale of the Arthurian mage with a fresh, inclusive perspective.

The increasing prominence of diverse voices ensures a broad spectrum of representation. From non-binary spellcasters to trans witches, the magical universe now reflects a wide range of experiences, identities, and tales of empowerment.

Books, shows, and movies are increasingly weaving these diverse stories, and platforms like Netflix’s “Shadow and Bone” or the “Witchlands” series by Susan Dennard showcase multifaceted queer characters within intricate magical worlds.

The world of geekdom, with its rich tapestry of magic, offers a space where identities can be explored, celebrated, and redefined. The queer wizards and witches of today are not mere characters in a story but emblematic of society’s evolving understanding and acceptance of diverse identities. As fantasy continues to push boundaries, the tales of these LGBTQIA+ spellcasters serve as both a reflection and a beacon, illuminating the path toward a more inclusive and magical future.

LGBTQIA+ Spellcasters in Popular Fantasy
(Image: Radio Power Strike)



A literary device where characters or events represent particular ideas or themes, often used to convey deeper moral or political meanings.


An individual or character capable of being attracted to more than one sex or gender identity, not limited to binary options.


A magical spell or the state of being under a spell, often used to describe moments of charm or delight in literature and film.


The refusal to conform to prevailing rules or practices; in queer narratives, it often involves characters who defy traditional gender or sexuality norms.


A practitioner of magic, often used in fantasy fiction to refer to a wizard or sorceress with considerable powers.


A literary technique where an existing story is adapted with new interpretations, perspectives, or characters, often to bring forward contemporary themes.

Side Character

A character in a story who is not the main focus but may support the plot or primary characters in significant ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

What role do queer characters play in fantasy narratives?

Queer characters in fantasy narratives often embody themes of empowerment and identity, providing a rich layer of complexity to the story.

How has the representation of queer magicians changed over time?

It has evolved from subtle subtexts to bold, explicit portrayals, with queer magicians becoming central, empowered figures in contemporary works.

Why are queer retellings of classic stories important?

They offer fresh perspectives and inclusivity, ensuring that diverse audiences see themselves reflected in cultural narratives.

Can fantasy literature influence societal attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ individuals?

Yes, by normalizing diverse identities and fostering empathy, fantasy literature can contribute to broader societal acceptance of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

How do queer characters impact the fantasy genre?

They challenge traditional genre conventions and enrich the genre with a diversity of experiences and storytelling possibilities.

What is the significance of non-binary representation in magic lore?

Non-binary representation challenges binary gender norms and offers a broader understanding of identity within magical universes.

How can fans of fantasy support more inclusive storytelling?

Fans can support inclusivity by promoting and engaging with works that showcase diverse representation and by encouraging publishers and creators to continue expanding their narratives.

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