Monday, October 22, 2007

Arse over tit

Via The Snob, I find that J K Rowling has stated that Hogwart's headmaster Albus Dumbledore is, in fact, gay.
"Dumbledore is gay," she said, adding he was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, who he beat in a battle between good and bad wizards long ago.

The audience gasped, then applauded. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy," she said.

"Falling in love can blind us to an extent," she added, saying Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down" and his love for Grindelwald was his "great tragedy".

Hmmm, I suppose that makes sense when one thinks about it; I thought that what Dumbledore felt for Grindelwald was more of a "pash", an adolescent crush that simply passed.

Of course, Rowling's handling of sexuality in the Harry Potter books is, in general, remarkably inept. Whilst one could point to Dumbledore's obvious infatuation with Grindalwald and his lack of apparent sexuality afterwards, this latter fact raises no comment: with a very few exceptions, none of the adult characters have any real sexuality. All the expressions of love in the books are either puerile, pure, obsessive or unrequited: there is no sexuality or lust.

To be sure, they are children's books, so the sex is unlikely to be explicit but, with the exception of the occasional lame pun on "wand work", the mechanisms or feelings of sexuality are never made explicit for any character. That people should not pick up on the fact that Dumbledore is gay is hardly surprising.
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the news about Dumbledore and said: "It's good that children's literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.

"But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore's sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book. Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance."

What would Tatchell prefer? That Harry wandered into Dumbledore's office to see him snogging Snape? That Dumbledore should give Harry's bottom a little pinch before dropping to his knees and taking Cedric Diggory's cock in his mouth?

It's a children's series, Tatchell, you nitwit: perhaps you should wait for Rowling's adult writing?

UPDATE: a friend of mine has pointed out that Rowling was surely sending us a signal, throughout the series, by giving the character a name which is an anagram of "odd bum leer"...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Reality of gay people"? It's hardly a realistic story. Not only are the books about a school of witchcraft and wizardy and stuff llike that, but it also features a ginger lad that has two mates!

^ That joke may be old but it's still funny...

JuliaM said...

lol! True ;)

chris said...

From the article she only mentioned it because she was having to keep Dumbledore as the character she imagined and not get altered for the movies. If Mr Tatchell wants that aspect of the character explored further then I think that the fan fiction will more than cover it.

Whether he was gay or strait it made no difference to the story so she was right not to put much emphasis on it. If only she had done that with all the other irrelevant bits. When I read them sometimes got the impression that JK Rawlings contract meant she was was paid by the weight of books shipped rather than their number.

Anonymous said...

Look, Dumbledore wore a fucking purple velvet zoot suit in the Half-Blood Princce. If that didn't set off big loud fucking alarm bells that he was a raving woofter, then you're all blind, deaf and retarded.

Not that there's awt wrong with being a raving woofter, of course.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I had a go at this over at my blog, and emailed Tatchell to tell him.

He has replied, and you can read the exchange at
wrinkledweasels.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

It's a children's series, Tatchell, you nitwit: perhaps you should wait for Rowling's adult writing?


Speak for yourself, it was sufficiently adult for me. I've not come out of mourning for Dumbledore yet.

Auntie Flo'

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

Line cut out from the first Harry Potter movie:

Dumbledore: "So Harry, do you like movies about gladiators?"

Devil's Kitchen said...

Haha!

"Harry, have you ever seen a grown man naked...?"

DK

The Remittance Man said...

Unless she was trying to create some sort of covert gay-propaganda point, I doubt Ms Rowling actually considered Dumbledore's sexuality until others started making an issue of it.

As far as I can see, whether Dumbledore spent his private moments hanging around in gay clubs or titty bars is immaterial to the plot of the books.

But in the intersts of furthering useless debate how about this: I thought I detected undercurrants of luurve between Dumbledore and the landlady of the pub near the school. So does this mean he's straight, gay or cynically doubling his chances of getting laid?