She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds “true love.”
“Dumbledore is gay,” the author responded to gasps and applause.
She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings, adding that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down.”
Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his “great tragedy.”
The end of the article concludes with this comment, which cites Rowling but doesn’t quote her:
Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.
Now, I am not one of the Christians that has opposed Rowling. In fact, I’ve been very supportive, noting that there are definite Christian themes in the books that seem to be deliberate. I wasn’t under any illusions. I knew we’d ultimately have to wait for her to speak to the issue. For example, in this post on my forum here I say:
I have long believed that there were Christian themes percolating in the books, a belief that led me to accurately predict the fates of Snape and Malfoy (apparently unredeemable characters in the books). How intentional and deliberate Rowling was when exploring these themes I wonâ€™t speculate upon because that is something that she herself is in the best position to answer.
I also wrote a much lengthier article more fully describing why I think some Christians are muggles and some Christians are ‘Ministry of Magic’ types.
So I am about as sympathetic as a Christian can get to the Harry Potter series. Her announcement of Dumbledore’s sexual preferences strikes me as bizarre and almost spiteful. Others I have talked to can’t seem to fathom it. I mean, even if in Rowling’s mind Dumbledore is gay, anything remotely hinting to that never surfaces in the books at all, does not show up in the movies, and exists only as ‘back story’ material. There is no reason to mention it at all. It doesn’t inform a reading of the books that I can tell, and I’ve read them all about five or six times each. So what’s the point of it? It almost comes across as though she is trying to stick it to Christians. Perhaps she is unaware that some Christians actually have approved of her books?
A revelation like this one almost makes me wonder if the paganism and witchcraft in the stories really are more than mere backdrop. Working from the documents themselves, I can’t see that. Will Rowling undermine in her ‘back story’ antics everything she accomplished in the series itself? It would be ironic to say the least.
Needless to say, I will be watching Rowling even more closely than I already have. I hope she takes the time some time to explain why on earth she felt that Dumbledore’s sexuality was relevant in the first place, let alone why she felt compelled to mention it.
In the meantime I have to put up with bloggers such as this, this, this, and this. Not cool. And this. Ok, that one is kinda funny. I guess this one is, too. I guess I agree with this one and this one.
The note that Evangelicals will be annoyed that you see in the original article and some of the blog entries fail to take into account that there have been Christians who have supported her. I wonder if that is a bridge I smell burning.