Monday, October 22, 2007

We are family

By now, you’ve probably already heard the big news around Hogwarts the world that Dumbledore is gay. Harry Potter headmistress J.K. Rowling flung open the closet door Friday during a reading at Carnegie Hall when a fan asked her if Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore had ever fallen in love:
“My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay… [ovation] Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix, he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him.

Yeah, that’s how I always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, ‘Dumbledore’s gay!’ [laughter and ovation] If I’d known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!”

Later, after another fan thanked her for the revelation [read the full transcript over at The Leaky Cauldron], she added:

“You needed something to keep you going for the next 10 years! Oh, my god, the fan fiction now, eh?”

OK. First of all, Yay, Dumbledore! Welcome to the family. Dude, the bears are going to love you. Second of all, Yay, J.K. Rowling! Just when I thought she couldn’t get any cooler for making millions upon millions of children (and more than a few discerning adults) excited about reading, she goes and does this. I always thought some dark magic had to be at work for there not to be a single gay character in the Potterverse.

But what I really want to do is take a moment to put this historic outing in perspective. The Harry Potter series is the best-selling children’s series of all time. To date it has sold more than 350 million copies and been translated into 64 languages. The five film adaptations so-far rank among the top 20 highest-grossing films of all-time worldwide. And now, the whole world knows that one of the most important and beloved characters in the series is gay. Wow. I think that makes it a pretty good day to be gay, don’t you?[Hat tip, suenami; Dumbledore Pride photo via mrslaurenm]


Heather Anne said...

There isn't a person in the world I admire more than JK Rowling. It's not just about her brilliant books, or her huge contributions to charities, or her constant lobbying for social justice. It's about how she uses all the power she has to effect positive change in the world. This Dumbledore thing is just one more reason to love her.

Linda said...

much as i love the fact that it's one of the most revered character who's retrospectively been confirmed as gay, wouldn't it have been even more cool if it had been one of the students....Harry Potter and His Magic Wand, anybody?? now, that would have been axis-tilting!

Huggitis Brown said...

Tell you what, I always thought there was a kind of gay under current in the Potter series, but I was more thinking about Sirius Black and James Potter. Some of Sirius' reactions were sometimes strong enough to suggest that. But as you rightly pointed out, it's a fabulous gift that one of the most famous, beloved and, dare I say, admired character of the series turns out to be gay. What a glorious example, albeit fictional, and indeed, what a great day to be gay.

J.K. Rowling rules.

Kathryn said...

Definitely wonderful news--great way to start the week.

Anonymous said...

Love JKR, and yet, to show you how far we have to go, when I sent my coworker the link to the article outing Dumbledore, she said now she she knows this, she's curious to go back and see if there was any funny business btwn him and Harry. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Ok, I might be a bit of a spoil-sport here, but, as my STRAIGHT sister said, why is everyone so excited by this? If she really wanted to make a character gay, then she should have just made them gay. It is hardly "daring" or "true" to declare a character gay AFTER the series has made you a billionaire.
While I appreciate her sentiment, as well as her literary achievement among the youth and post-youth, it is hardly outstanding to point out the possibility of a homosexual subtext after one has completed their series.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon below - this is the stupidest silliest outing I've ever heard of - if you are writing about a gay character then put it in the damn book.