I remember first reading "Harry Potter" in the third grade. I was around eight years old and had only recently sworn to myself that I was going to read a book a day. The year before my school sent a letter home detailing to my mother that my reading level was very high – at an eighth-grade level then – but I failed to actually read through any books. The reality of the situation was a little more complex.

In actuality, I was reading six books at one time, two of which I distinctly recall being a "That's So Raven" book, one of the fun ones with the shiny pictures, and "James and the Giant Peach." At any rate, back in my third-grade year, I was an active, tomboy – to the point that most people used to impetuously diagnose me with ADHD.

It seemed to be impossible for me to focus on one task at a time, let alone one book. Well, that all changed soon.

Being the sporty kid that I was, I was (and am) also the competitive type, I took it upon myself to prove wrong all who ever doubted me. This started my descent into complete nerddom. (To be clear, I was never the popular kid, but my life at one point consisted of more than inside activities likes books, TV, and video games.) The one-book-a-day rule held up pretty well with the material I was being offered at school.

Harry Potter, pure unabashed fantasy

The reading material I was being offered at school was wholeheartedly disappointing to me and the content of Ribsy. Sorry, Beverly Cleary and similar literature just weren't my cup of tea.

Then, I found "Harry Potter." And yes, I am the type to judge a book by its cover and "The Sorcerer’s Stone" caught my eye. However, it wasn't until "The Prisoner of Azkaban" that I discovered 300 pages of pure unabashed fantasy and I was completely enthralled!

To the average millennial, I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say "Harry Potter was everything to me as a child.

In real life, I was a small Black people – one of the six in a 1000-student filled private school – with a speech impediment and a social phobia, all of which rendered me incapable of making friends.

Everyone else is the Muggle

I even did my homework at recess so I had more time to read at home. Yet, I didn’t mind any of that when I was in Harry Potter’s world.

Everybody else was a muggle and I was a wizard! I identified with Harry Potter on a spiritual level. He was the boy who didn't feel at home in a place that was supposed to be his home.

Hermione Granger is another relatable character. She was maybe too smart for her own good and got into a lot of trouble because she was different from both her parents and most of those around her. Lucky for them, they had the wizarding world. Lucky for me, I had J. K. Rowling in my world.

In the current socio-political age, my fellow Millennials are excited to hear about progressive updates. For example, the news that our favorite headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay, or the possibility that Hermione could very well be a Black girl – 50 points to Gryffindor for diversity and representation!

Quirkiness is becoming the norm

My reading list nowadays more often features the likes of George Orwell or James Baldwin. Regardless, as a leftist millennial, I am naturally glad to hear about what I can only consider to be upgrades to the cherished novels of my youth. (Gosh, I remember crying after finishing the last book, not because of the sad bits, just because it was over.)

As a critical thinker as well, I am simultaneously wary of queerbaiting and other forms of social marketing appeals. Be that as it may, I can't help but notice that now my quirkiness is the norm and it fits quite easily into the narrative of other millennials on the edge of their seats for social change.

Harry Potter fans were similarly delighted to hear that their particular demographic is less likely to like Trump.

Thinking back on this, it makes sense. Potterheads are almost by definition opposed to Voldemort, who shares a politics reminiscent of the new guy in the White House.

What's more, it brings to mind a role reversal that is enriching, if not inspiring to realize: the idea that the outsiders, the Millennials sharing memes and making dark humour out of their low sense of self-worth, feeling like they don't belong, are actually the main characters, the protagonists in this new novel. It seems that all the transphobes, homophobes, racists, etc.– (though I should add that we should always be correcting ourselves even if we don’t participate in kyriarchal systems as actively as we believe Trump supporters to be) – are really the ones who should feel like they don't matter.

When escapism becomes reality

The NPCs (non-playable characters), the antagonists, the final boss at the end of the game in which our sole purpose is to win, because if we don't win, we’ll just keep playing, respawning, restarting. And in children's books, the end always comes with a resolution.

Now, all we newfound young adult Millennials need is a revolution. It is unfortunate that our escapism has become reality, but at least we came prepared. We have the magic to be the "Ones Who Lived." Dumbledore’s Army is in training, and the Death Eaters aren't going to stop us.

Happy belated birthday, Harry.