Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay

For those of you who haven't been paying attention, JK Rowling revealed during a reading at Carnegie Hall this week that the headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter novels is gay.

Now, I have to admit that I'm not really a Harry Potter fan. I haven't read any of the books, but I have seen the movies...other than the last one, which isn't out on cable far as I know. I will admit that I liked the first movie, and I've thought that each movie has gotten steadily worse. Yes, I know that the movies are probably nothing like the books, but I don't really plan on reading the books any time soon.

Now, why do I bring this up? A lot of people on various speculative fiction forums have been discussing it, so I figured I'd weigh in. Plus, in less than a week I will be at MileHiCon, and I can just imagine some cosplayer is even now as you read this busy at home working on a Dumbledore in drag costume. Plus, using that title in a blog entry is likely to generate some traffic. I learned from Keith...give me a break!

In some ways, I think this revelation will hurt the book some, at least in America. There are already large elements of the Christian Right that are opposed to this book because it promotes witchcraft and Satanism (which are not necessarily linked, no matter what the CR might tell you.) In Europe, I don't think anyone will care because they're not quite as morally freaked out as we Americans are.

My hope is that this might teach young readers some tolerance, and maybe that will help to grow more tolerant adults...we certainly need them. I don't have a problem with a gay character in a children's book. They are a part of our society and should not be marginalized like the Right would like for us to do.

I was talking about this with a kid at work yesterday. He's sixteen, a huge Harry Potter fan, and he's gay. He thought it was a great thing, but he worried that some people would look at Dumbledore's relationship with Harry and try to draw some sort of pedophile conclusions from that...because we all know that all gays are pedophiles. Where do people get those kinds of ideas from? Oh yeah, the Christian Right.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Anyone else feel like weighing in?

And just so you know, if you post an anonymous comment slandering me for my views without identifying yourself, your post will be deleted. At least have the courage to let the world know who you are if you're going to attack someone's viewpoint!


Marva said...

My feeling is, so what?

I read all the books. I think they went downhill, too, but it doesn't make any difference in the plotlines whether Dumbledore was gay or straight. It simply isn't an issue.

J Erwine said...

But it will make a difference to some people. They'll start looking at his behavior and see what they want to see...that's just the way people are.