The case for Snape being transgender is complex and, at times, compelling. It stems from a Snape transgender Tumblr community, who have been combing the Harry Potter books for years and coming away with some very interesting arguments to support their theory that Severus Snape is, indeed, a trans woman. Lest you're inclined to write this off from the get-go, it's worth noting that, if this were the case, Snape wouldn't be the only non-cisgendered character in the series.
The community that purveys this theory is not exclusively comprised of transgender individuals, but a fair percentage is. Those trans individuals who hold this belief often find solace in it, especially in light of homosexuality's troubled history throughout fiction.
Read on to discover precisely why Tumblr thinks Snape is transgender and explore the community that shares this belief.
In an essay titled, "Harry Potter: Severus Snape as a Representation of Female Heroism," author Racheline Maltese cites a key moment from the text that sparked the "Trans Snape" theory. She argues that Snape's comment in the first book about there being "no foolish wand-waving" in potions class is a clue that "this character is, on some level, a rejection of masculinity, especially in light of the many moments of phallic humor wands provide us throughout the series."
The theory that Snape is trans is not so outlandish when you consider that Rowling revealed Dumbledore to be gay in 2007. The Trans Snape community points to this example as evidence supporting their argument.
Speaking to Broadly, Tumblr user Fatuma said, "if [Rowling] had written Snape as a cisgender woman, no part of Snape's story would be greatly affected."
Basically, there's no way to disprove that Snape is trans based on the text, and the Trans Snape community believes that to be intentional.
Snape reverently speaks of "the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins." Maltese points out that this is an invocation of feminine witchcraft symbolism, a literary staple predating Shakespeare.
Tumblr user and 26-year-old trans man Ensnapingthesenses echoed this sentiment:
"Potion-making and poisons have a long and fascinating history of being associated with femininity. But Snape's affinity to potions and her incredible talent have also been interpreted as an effort to find a magical way to transition."