"Within the Harry Potter fandom on Tumblr there's a slowly growing community of people who believe Snape was trans, or choose to explore this possibility; some of us just couldn't stop typing, drawing, or thinking about it, and so Trans Snape Week was born," Ensnapingthesenses said in an interview with Broadly. "Trans Snape Week is really just a place to get together and celebrate, explore, and share: It's spawned all sorts of fanfiction, fanart, literary analysis… We see ourselves reflected in such a complex, interesting, and polarizing figure—which we don't usually get to do, as transgender fans."Fatuma, an agender person from East Africa, is helping to organize Trans Snape Week 2017, which will be hosted by the Snape Love Posts Tumblr account, a general Snape appreciation blog run by multiple Snape-appreciating Tumblr users, including Fatuma. Fatuma explained to Broadly their belief that J.K. Rowling "coded" Snape to be female to the point that "if she had written Snape as a cisgender woman, no part of Snape's story would be greatly affected." Fatuma agrees with Ensnapingthesenses: There is a strong community of people who believe Snape is trans—and they've got data to support it.
Trans Snape scholars have also refined their understanding of Snape through her role in Harry Potter's life. We all know that Severus Snape had unrequited love for Harry Potter's mom, Lily, who was married to a macho jerk named James. Although Voldemort murdered them both, Snape's love transcended their death. In a secret arrangement with Dumbledore, and due to an allegiance with Lily, Snape essentially becomes Harry's surrogate mother.
Snape's affinity to potions and her incredible talent have also been interpreted as an effort to find a magical way to transition.
Harry wondered vaguely who the Half-Blood Prince had been. Although the amount of homework they had been given prevented him from reading the whole of his copy of Advanced Potion-Making, he had skimmed through it sufficiently to see that there was barely a page on which the Prince had not made additional notes, not all of them concerned with potion-making. Here and there were directions for what looked like spells that the Prince had made up himself.
'Or herself,' said Hermione irritably, overhearing Harry pointing some of these out to Ron in the common room on Saturday evening. 'It might have been a girl. I think the handwriting looks more like a girl's than a boy's.'
'The Half-Blood Prince, he was called,' Harry said. 'How many girls have been Princes?'
If you think about it, this interpretation makes more sense than somehow staying in romantic love with your childhood crush, decades after their untimely death. "Snape's relationship with Lily, in many ways, reminds me of relationships I had with cis girls as a child and teen," a trans woman named Lilyana told me. The fact that "Snape's Patronus is the same as Lily's is something besides romantic interest… that the physical and magical embodiment or [Snape's] spirit is the same feminine representation as that of Lily's could absolutely indicate that Snape is in fact a trans woman."Sharing a patronus with Lily makes Snape unique in the wizarding world—and, in a passive but powerful magical act, the appearance of Snape's doe leads Harry to the Sword of Gryffindor. Maltese wrote that it is this singular scene, out of the entire series, that solidifies Snape as a heroine. "In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Snape takes on [her] most prominently female gendered role in [her] clandestine provision of the true Sword of Gryffindor to Harry through the use of [her] Patronus," Maltese expounded. "In this scene, Snape essentially plays The Lady of the Lake," a literary figure that appears In various pieces of King Arthur literature. The Lady of the Lake gives Arthur the sword Excalibur, not unlike Snape giving Harry the fabled Sword of Gryffindor.
Snape is in fact a trans woman.
Then there is the matter of Snape's death, where she sacrifices herself for the good of Hogwarts: Snape nobly participates in a pre-arranged plot with Dumbledore, in which she kills the Headmaster at his bequest, allowing her students and closest colleagues to believe that she had secretly remained a servant to Lord Voldemort her entire life. Only after her death is she redeemed.In general, there is a troubling, well-documented history of queering villains in fiction, something many of the Snape scholars I interviewed acknowledged. Snape transcends this, in their view. "Snape was queer-coded as part of making her villainous," Fatuma explained. "The curious thing is that whenever creators use the 'they were good all along' trope, feminine codes and/or queer-coding is [typically] undone; the character is allowed to be a cisgender and straight. But not Snape."