Thursday, October 25, 2007

OMG... Dumbledore is Gay

Man, I bet the Harry Potter film peeps wished they had tapped Sir Ian McKellan to play that role now! It would have been so perfect! Anyhoo, for those of you that live under a rock and have missed the official announcement (much like Ladytron who kind of didn't make it to work yesterday and therefore hadn't been on the internet or watched live TV - long live DVR - since Friday afternoon): Rowling outted the beloved headmaster at Carnegie Hall on October 19th. Many have already blogged about this theory before, and I'm sure are now thrilled to have their suspicions validated.
Now, the real question for many is - was this something that Jo has always known, or is she just trying to give the phenom that is Potter-mania EVEN longer legs? It's easy to see both sides. Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald can certainly be (and has been) read that way. On the other hand, many could easily read that as a simple close relationship between heterosexual adolescent boys (like, say, perhaps that of Harry and Ron - or of James and Sirius). Of course, Dumbledore's love of the ladies was never discussed, but the headmaster always seemed (to me, at least) to be a character that was just somehow above such trifling things as sex or relationships. He just always seemed to have a higher purpose.
So what do I think? I really don't care. Whether she decided to just give into all the speculation and make Dumbledore gay, or whether she planned it from the beginning…whichever way, J.K. Rowling has done a great thing. In today's movies, TV shows, and even books, gay characters often fall into a stereotypical pigeonhole, or somehow become defined solely by the fact that they are "gay." Rowling has created a character that is beloved by many for who is he is as a person, a role-model, and a leader - and now, who just happens to be gay. And if that helps promote a new level of understanding or tolerance among even a fraction of those millions of fans, then more power to Rowling.
[update: Upon re-reading this, I realized it lacks the snark that many (by which I mean all 5 of you dear loyal readers) of you have come to expect. I promise that my next post will be much more withering and critical of all things literary. Thank you for your patience. ]