I’ve never read one Harry Potter book. I’ve never seen a single movie. I probably have the least amount of knowledge about J.K. Rowling’s series than anyone on the face of the planet, but I am intrigued by the responses to Rowling’s revelation that Dumbledore was gay.
My first impression is that Rowling likes her books in the news. First she allowed that the Potter series was in fact a type of Christian allegory. Now she is saying post-death that sympathetic professor and hero Dumbledore was gay.
John Granger, author of Looking for God in Harry Potter, blogs at HogwartsProfessor. His take is that this is to be expected as Rowling works through Christianity from a postmodern lens. He said the revelation was not really meant as such. It was an honest off-the-cuff response to a girl who thanked the author for helping and inspiring her in life.
John Mark Reynolds says he doesn’t care what Rowlings said, Dumbledore was not gay. He argues that unless an author gives some type of hint or foreshadowing that they cannot simply make an announcement about the “life” of a character which has no basis in the book or to the plot. Her thoughts in writing the character are insignificant in light of the actual writing.
Somewhat surprisingly, John Cloud, who is gay, is less than thrilled with the wizards’ coming out, comparing him to Mark Foley and Larry Craig. He writes that Dumbledore should have thought enough of his own sexuality to make a statement about it. By keeping him in the closet and announcing it postmortem, Cloud argues that Rowling does more harm than good for gay equality.
You can see other responses linked here.
Me? I’m still trying to figure out what a Hogwarts is and if that will impact the nation’s supply of bacon.
UPDATE: Reynolds writes a second piece that says, Dumbledore is not hetero either. He also makes some great points about Christianity and literature.