Dumbledore is gay. Okay!

As if the Christian right didn’t have enough to worry about already. First came the notoriously gay Teletubbies, followed by SpongeBob, the Terrible Token of Tolerance. (Following condemnation from the right, SpongeBob was immediately welcomed into the United Church of Christ. Go UCC!)

dumbledore.jpgBut now, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has announced that the beloved Hogwarts Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is gay. (That loud “pop” you just heard was the sound of James Dobson’s head exploding.)

I, however, celebrate this news. As others have pointed out, given the still-pervasive culture of shame surrounding gay and lesbian people in America, it’s vital that gay kids have positive role models growing up–in literature as well as in real life.

However, to the extent that past behavior can predict future behavior, we can expect to see continued Christian-driven censorship of Harry Potter with this new revelation. People have already had a problem with the “witchcraft” in the books (this despite the fact that there are blatant Harry/Jesus parallels to be found as well).

Some may ask, “why does this even matter?” or “why now?” Since Dumbledore doesn’t have any apparent romantic attachments throughout any of the seven books, why would Rowling bother to ‘out him’ at this point?

mugglenet.pngIn my view, Dumbledore is one of the greatest father-figures in children’s literature. People of all stripes and prejudices have come to love him; gay, straight and anti-gay alike. Without knowing about Dumbledore’s gayness, people’s perceptions of him weren’t diminished by their preconceived notions about gay people.

Now, months after the story has been finished, we are free to decide for ourselves whether or not Dumbledore’s homosexuality somehow makes him to be worse (or better) than we’d previously thought. I would think that most honest people would agree that he doesn’t retroactively change into a worse person just because of this news.

Kudos to J.K. Rowling for providing us all with a positive, prominent gay role model in literature.


Here’s how this Harry Potter fan (and founder of mugglenet.com) answers the ‘why now?’ question.

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10 Responses to “Dumbledore is gay. Okay!”

  1. Erin Says:

    Hey, Tom, here’s another Harry Potter/religion article that yo might find interesting: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572107/20071017/index.jhtml

    I, too, was very happy about the news. I was talking with Daniel about it, and as he said “There are a lot of anti-gay people out there who already love Dumbledore.” If this news makes those people critically think about their position, then it’s done some good.

    As for the “why now?” question, I found the answer fairly straightforward – someone asked. Now about his orientation, but about his love life, as love was such a central theme to him. She couldn’t have answered the question before book 7 was published, because the specifics do give away pertinent information about Dumbledore’s past that wasn’t known to the greater wizarding world before that point.

    Anyway, my two cents :) Can’t wait to see you later this week!

  2. Tom Hoberg Says:

    Erin, that’s an awesome article. Thank you for pointing me to it!

    Yeah, I think you hit it on the head: somebody asked, and for once, she was able to tell, without revealing too much.

    It’s funny–if it Dumbledore’s sexuality didn’t somehow ‘fit,’ I think it would seem contrived at this point. But instead, it feels like an additional level of clarity.

    Looking forward to seeing you too!!

  3. Cindi Knox Says:

    Indeed, there has been a bit of “told you so” coming from the right. It amazes (and troubles) me how easy it is for people (myself included) to interpret “other” as “enemy” and “different” as “threatening”.

    In front of a full house of hardcore [jailhouse gay] Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne [with her boobs hanging out], read from her seventh and final book, “Harry Potter and the Faggy Hallows,” then took questions. One fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, the head of the famed Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled [evilly]. “Dumbledore is gay, actually,” replied Rowling as the audience errupted in surprise. She added that, in her [sick and twisted fag hag] mind, Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair [barf bag] with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort’s predecessor who appears in the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonshed fans [in leather chaps], Rowling added. “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy [gay].”

    ‘I’m ready for my close up!’I think I’m going to be sick. The audience “erupted.” They were “happy.” How disgusting. What a bunch of perverts.

    http://blogs4brownback.wordpress.com/2007/10/20/jk-rowling-bares-all/

    Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling’s ‘Gay’ Dumbledore Announcement Manipulates Children

    On the other hand, critics from around the globe and of different religious backgrounds have been vocal about their serious concerns about the message and values portrayed in the novels. They have warned about the subliminal themes that especially present vulnerable young readers in today’s corrupted, even increasingly pagan, western culture with marred distinctions between good and evil.

    Many sources have stated Rowling’s newest revelation will give a whole new meaning to the passages that pertain to the “affection” between the two wizards when they were youths.

    http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/oct/07102204.html

  4. FranIAm Says:

    Hey Tom! Well I haven’t even been around to comment let alone do any writing for your blog. But I love stopping by from time to time and seeing your great stuff.

    Like this. It is so sad that people are in a lather over this. As my friend said when someone asked “why does it even matter that he is gay?” she said “precisely because it should not matter.”

    People get very worked up over sexuality. Which, ironically – Jesus seemed to have very little to say about specifically.

    Now forgiveness, compassion, generosity, humility… well, that kept Him busy, didn’t it?

  5. Mark W. Says:

    I think this is a fascinating issue. Maybe it’s my own naivete, but I never thought about the sexualty of, frankly, any of Hogwarts faculty. Am I out of the loop here? Or is this even relevant?

    Frankly, I thought Rowlings’ treatment of the kids’ sexuality was awkward as well. Her writing lost some of its fluidity when sexuality came up, whether it was with Harry and Cho/Ginny, or even with Bill and Fleur. I guess the goofiness of Ron around Fleur was funny, but most of the ‘relationship stuff’ just seemed like it didn’t fit. Not that I have any problem with the inclusion of sexuality in the story, I just think her writing was awkward around the subject.

    So I guess I’d just conclude that this seems like a publicity stunt to me, because it doesn’t really change anything. For me, that is. I can see however, that for LGBTQ folks, it could be helpful/reassuring/inspiring, so perhaps it’s worth it in that regard.

  6. outlawdesire Says:

    to quote the rev dr j e johnson: christianity is a very gay religion… ‘this is my body. take it, eat it…” get it?

  7. Tori is Awesome Says:

    Actually, I’d just like to point out that J.K. Rowling only outed Dumbledore as gay when directly asked if he ever found love in the books, to which she responded that she had always thought that Dumbles had been in love with Gellert Grindelwald, who was his intellectual equal, best friend, greatest rival, and sister’s murderer. But I digress-she only told the public the truth when directly asked and it seemed very informal to the point of her words becoming hard to understand between boughs of laughter. And when one simply looks at canon a bit more closely, you can find plenty of evidence that Albus was in love with Gellert (hence his reasoning for supporting and assisting his friend’s plan.) Sorry for the late comment and the irrelevant subject matter, just wanted to scare away any impending homophobic trolls, watching and waiting in secrecy in hopes of pissing someone off. Great article, loved the bit about James Smobston, he really annoys me!


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