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Camy

Dumbledore is gay!

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I initially thought this was just an Internet Myth, but it's on the AP wire and CNN, so it appears to be real:

J.K. Rowling Outs Hogwarts Character

By HILLEL ITALIE

NEW YORK (AP) ? Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay. J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall.

After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.

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."

"Oh, my god," Rowling concluded with a laugh, "the fan fiction."

Potter readers on fan sites and elsewhere on the Internet have speculated on the sexuality of Dumbledore, noting that he has no close relationship with women and a mysterious, troubled past. And explicit scenes with Dumbledore already have appeared in fan fiction.

Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.

Rowling, finishing a brief "Open Book Tour" of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a "prolonged argument for tolerance" and urged her fans to "question authority."

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.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/10/2...r.ap/index.html

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This news story makes sense, at least for those who read the final Harry Potter book over the summer. There were several chapters devoted to providing a lot of backstory about Dumbledore, and the character of Grindewald was at the heart of some of them. The published book merely establishes that they had a very close friendship while both were in their last years of Howart's, but omitted the detail that Grindewald was the great love of Dumbledore's life.

Dumbledore later had to kill the character in a duel, when Grindewald began to go mad with power with one of the "Deathly Hallows" (but I'll omit the details for those who have yet to read the book).

I find it remarkable that Rowling chose to reveal this fact. At this point, I don't think she did it for publicity or money, because she's already got both. I think she felt in her heart it's true, and if you can't believe the author who created the characters, who can you believe?

On one level, I'm completely stunned, but on another, it makes total sense when you look back over the long epic story.

As they say in England, I'm gobsmacked. I only wish somebody in the audience had asked Rowling if there were any other gay characters in the books. (I had my suspicions about Colin Creevy, myself...)

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Damn! I just posted the same news item elsewhere two hours after Camy. (This is what I get for jumping in and posting a message without reading the other ones first!)

Still, I'm really blown away by the news. If there's a more famous gay character in the history of fiction, I can't think of one. (Despite many rumors, I was never convinced that Sherlock Holmes or Watson was gay, two name two examples.)

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I've moved the thread to this forum as the more appropriate place for it to be.

I haven't read book seven yet, but my first reaction was 'so what'. It doesn't change anything about the character as far as I'm concern. I don't see any ulterior motives that this adds to what I've read so far -- it's just some background information that really doesn't make any significant difference to the story (at least as much as I've read).

If you like -- my reaction is just the same as what I would like everyone's reaction to be in real life. A 'so what' shrug of the shoulders and then a move on to another topic.

I think it's good that J.K.Rowlings had that much background on her characters so they could be consistent over the series, but I really don't see that this makes any real difference to the story (barring book seven, of course).

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My reaction was mostly, "Oh? That's nice. Good for her to say so."

I'm sure it'll mean some parents and some teens will think it's "too gay" or "promotes..." etc., and will therefore shy away from it, make fun of it, or try to ban it.

But so many have already read the books, seen the movies, or have heard positive reviews, that I think the more open- or fair-minded audience will read them, to see what all the fuss is about.

The books certainly are about acceptance or tolerance of those who are different or outcasts or weird. Wel, what I've read so far in the books are about a lot of things; that's part of what makes them special.

-----

On the other hand, I could wish there were an openly gay character among the students at Hogwarts, complete with coming out, boyfriend or girlfriend, or some clear analogy there.

But it seems to me that the story of Lupin and Black is a strong allegory there.

Harry's, Ron's, and Hermione's story as outsiders who bond together provides another kind of comparison about tolerance and acceptance.

Anyway -- I wouldn't want to shoehorn anything into what is a lot of really fine work by an author.

Who knows, she may write something else that'll grab our attention. I hope so.

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...The published book merely establishes that they had a very close friendship while both were in their last years of Howart's, but omitted the detail that Grindewald was the great love of Dumbledore's life...

Ah, but the real unanswered question is: was Dumbledore the great love of Grindewald's life?

As they say in England, I'm gobsmacked. I only wish somebody in the audience had asked Rowling if there were any other gay characters in the books. (I had my suspicions about Colin Creevy, myself...)

Most honest guys named Colin would admit to being gay, so if Colin Creevy didn't, my guess is that he wasn't. Or maybe he was. Whatever.

Colin :happy:

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Damn! I just posted the same news item elsewhere two hours after Camy. (This is what I get for jumping in and posting a message without reading the other ones first!)

Here's the link to the other topic:

Colin :happy:

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WOW!!! :happy: I just read it on BBC & then went here & it's already discussed!

I thought someone was joking & then I was misunderstanding Dombledore & Gandalf, whose Ian McKellan is gay.

But WOW! :happy:

Too bad JK didn't elaborate about this on HP, & only say this after the series ended. :wink:

Now I think there will be a lot of parents that will probably ban their kids from reading HP. Even those who think the witchcraft-promoting idea was nuts...

:wink: Kudos for JK for saying this!

Rad

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If you like -- my reaction is just the same as what I would like everyone's reaction to be in real life. A 'so what' shrug of the shoulders and then a move on to another topic.

I think for big fans of the Harry Potter series, this is a big deal. Having a major (unpublished) fact about one of the leading characters of the novels is a real surprise; it'd be the same thing if Ian Fleming had mentioned that, say, Q was gay in the James Bond books, or a similar character in any literary series.

I think it's remarkable that J.K. Rowling would bother to mention this now, and yet I also understand why she chose not to include it in the books as written. I think dropping that bombshell in the last book would have been a major distraction, and I'm not sure it would've been that easy to shoehorn Dumbledore's sexual identity into the plot. (I notice the Wikipedia entry has already been updated to include this fact.)

Note that Rowling went out of her way during her revelation to make a plea for tolerance, and also commented that her news about Dumbledore would probably give Christian groups yet another reason to dislike her work.

It took me awhile to realize that all seven of the Harry Potter books are really about a race war and tolerance -- even more than the apparent story of the coming-of-age of a young wizard. The gay thing is just one more element that adds to the tolerance issue.

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Try also, class intolerance, economic opportunities, and outcasts/misfits/unwanted of nearly any kind.

I can see why she didn't include it in the books, but in a way, I wish she'd had a gay character or two, or someone trying to come out. That, despite that it would've branded the books as being "gay stories," even if it was only said once. (Grumbles.)

We've still got a long way to go, boys and girls.

Edit:

But the most promising things I see are teens and 20's who are out and proud and supported by their families and friends, even partnered. That, and welcoming places of worship, and a little more openness to discussion in the general public. -- Yes, there's prejudice and intolerance out there, but there is also acceptance and love.

I'm still figuring it all out.

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