J.K. Rowling’s late outing of Dumbledore promotes tolerance
Ever since the release of the final novel in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, author J.K. Rowling has been touring basically every country possible to talk about the book. And she’s been giving out a ridiculous amount of information, information that should have been included in the seventh book.
Harry Potter fans perusing fan sites like www.mugglenet.com have been able to find answers to the burning questions that remained after the lengthy pages of Deathly Hallows were done. Rowling confessed that Death Eaters Dolohov and Bellatrix killed Remus and Tonks, respectively; the fates of Viktor Krum and Dolores Umbridge (married and imprisoned, respectively); and Neville’s marriage to Hannah Abbot, who became the landlady of the Leaky Cauldron, etc.
Oh, and by the way, Dumbledore is gay.
I wish that Rowling would have used all of this recent information in her final Harry Potter novel — perhaps it would have made the epilogue and all of the horrid deaths more bearable. Perhaps it is Rowling’s attempt to maintain the attention she’s gotten in the past years for the Harry Potter series — perhaps she fears that now that the series is over, getting attention will be difficult unless she constantly gives away more and more. Is Rowling an attention-seeking supernovelist?
I think not. If I knew Rowling, I’d hug her something serious. Although I think that she should have revealed Dumbledore’s sexuality more explicitly, I am glad she’s integrated this fact in her stories at all. Especially because she told an audience of adults and children at Carnegie Hall. It seems she believes that his sexuality is only directly relevant to the plot in Deathly Hallows because his history with Grindelwald is explained. But now that I know that Dumbledore’s infatuation with Grindelwald was based on Dumbledore’s actual love for him, I think the events that followed, and Grindelwald’s attitude, are more understandable.
There are a lot of deep things that people will say about Dumbledore’s homosexuality — how it’s awesome that he’s a role model and a strong figure and he’s gay, although being gay doesn’t really affect someone’s ability to be a role model or a strong figure, just like being black or being a female doesn’t stop me from being amazing. People will say it’s amazing that Rowling is teaching children tolerance, teaching children to respect homosexuality. Rowling’s approach is for people to ask themselves — why would it matter if he is gay or not? It doesn’t affect his ability as a headmaster or a wizard. We don’t know anything about the sex lives of any of the teachers, really.
Other people will trash Rowling, saying that she is promoting homosexuality, like Bill O’Reilly, the infamous shit talker. According to www.thinkprogress.org, O’Reilly is suspicious of Rowling, and he says that she did this on purpose. He says that a lot of American parents are worried about Rowling’s agenda and basically that she doesn’t have a right to expose children to homosexuality.
But isn’t that Rowling’s point? Dumbledore isn’t defined by his homosexuality, and while his love for Grindelwald makes him vulnerable to an extent, so did Snape’s love for Lily. And that was a heterosexual love and look how that turned out. O’Reilly’s blatant ignorance shows that Rowling’s theme of tolerance is completely necessary.
Personally, I think it’s generally rad that Dumbledore is gay. I’m not too deep and I’m not a hater, but I am tempted to run in the streets shouting, “DUMBLEDORE IS GAY!” I haven’t yelled it in the streets yet, but I have screamed it in the UC and in my apartment, mostly because the streets are too cold right now. But this is really exciting. Not only is Rowling’s revelation an attempt to include a range of diverse individuals in the series, it’s just generally amazing. It’s odd in the context of Rowling revealing all of this information too late, promising not to write another book for the series (though she might write an encyclopedia about the Harry Potter series) but then revealing crucial information that gives people closure on the book.
Honestly, Ms. Rowling, you should just give in and do another book. You know you want to. Don’t fight the feeling.
Anyway, it’s too bad Dumbledore and Grindelwald didn’t have a hot make-out scene. Because that of all things would have been the best closure that Harry Potter could offer.