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Harry Potter and a Gay Dumbledore

I’ve been getting some hits on my site regarding a past post about Rowling’s outing of Dumbledore as ‘gay.’  I couldn’t figure out but having scanned the news a bit I guess I get it.  Some readers have taken offense to my ruminating about Rowling’s motives in having Dumbledore as gay, wondering if perhaps she was just trying to stick it to Christians.

I don’t know if that was her reason.  But my post rankled some people, getting me accused of being arrogant, egocentric, ignorant, and most bizarrely, a liberal Christian.  Wow, can’t remember the last time that charge was leveled.

Like I said, I don’t know if that was her reason.  Honestly, I’m still waiting to hear the reason.  I’d love to hear the reason.  If it was some ploy towards the ‘acceptance’ themes in her books, then the brave and right thing to do was to have outed him in the series itself, and not afterwards.  Learning that he was gay adds nothing that I can think of.  If someone is aware of any place where she explains this, I’d be happy to hear it.

But imagine my surprise when I read that I am not the only person wondering about Rowling’s motives and speculating that perhaps it was just to rile up a certain segment of the population.  None other then Daniel Radcliffe himself, the actor who plays Harry Potter in the movies, said,

“I think it’s wonderful that Dumbledore was outed as gay … Half of me thinks Rowling just did that to see if she could p*ss off the right-wing, but I’m not sure how true that is. I think she had it planned, I think she always knew he was gay.”

That Daniel Radcliffe!  He’s so arrogant, egocentric, and ignorant!  Oh, and a liberal Christian!  Can you believe that guy?  Positing ‘dark agendas’ is just ridiculous…

Well, and perhaps it is.  But the reason for the speculation is that the ‘outing’ is positively mystifying.   Besides simply not adding anything to an understanding of the series, if anything it darkens it.  For example, I actually read someone wondering if Dumbledore’s interest in Harry wasn’t exactly platonic, if you get my gist.  Ridiculous?

Well, I would have thought so until Rowlings started issuing post hoc revelations re-interpreting the text.

Anyway, I don’t know what Rowling’s motives were (both in conceiving of Dumbledore as gay and in revealing it) and would be happy if someone could direct me to any statements of her’s that clear it up.

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    • Kim on August 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    “…Dumbledore’s interest in Harry wasn’t exactly platonic, if you get my gist. Ridiculous?”

    Homosexuality doesn’t equal pedophilia. Fact. Funnily enough, in addition to the other accusations, you weren’t accused of being an idiot.

    • Anthony on August 13, 2009 at 6:36 pm
      Author

    “you weren’t accused of being an idiot.”

    I assume by that you mean to say that the accusation should have been made. That was not very nice, but besides that, before such an accusation is made you should at least make sure that you understand the post. That is critical when you are casting someone as an ‘idiot’ for if in fact you don’t grasp the point, or mis-attribute your scorn (as you have appeared to have done), you open yourself up to being guilty of your own charge. Not a winning strategy. Or at least, not one that I personally embrace.

    I say that, because funnily enough, nowhere does my post say that homosexuality equals pedophilia but more importantly I was quite clear that I was only reporting what I had read elsewhere. Hence the clear sentence, written in English, “For example, I actually read someone wondering”

    But this is irrelevant to the point: in short, whatever distinction you’d like to draw between homosexuality and pedophilia makes no difference to the observation that tacking on post hoc authorial revelations may have unintended consequences. We are now invited to look at the text in an entirely new light and let our imaginations wander…

    Thanks for visiting!

    • Kiki on October 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Did you finally get an answer? I too am wonderig why she decided to out Dumbledore as gay. I read the books and I can’t see how the reader would of guessed that he was gay based on the way that he was described.

    • Ted on March 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    What was the point? How was it relevant?

    She was asked a question about Dumbledore’s love life. She answered it. She happened to think that he was gay, so she told the truth.

    Later she said she would have revealed it a long time ago, but no one ever asked.

    Does that answer your question?

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