Why? just tell me Why!

This just in… “J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall Reveals Dumbledore is Gay; Neville Marries Hannah Abbott, and Much More

I liked Jo Rowling. I liked her books. I liked her writing style. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as you are blanketed in fame, fortune, popularity and spend far more of your life in the limelight than you realized you would, you suddenly succumb to media pressure and do something stupid.

Case in point, The Harry Potter series was doing just fine. It was fantastic as far as I was concerned. It’s been so good that it vaulted Jo Rowling into almost instant fame. The movies based on the books have been held to impeccable detail following the book and not deviating from the book, per Jo Rowling’s wishes. Then while she is lambasted with eager young kids with questions galore at the Carnegie Hall, she ruins the entire series with what I am sure she thought would be catering to what the public wants, or catering to a new market to sell more books and movies. In any case, Jo Rowling was asked a perfectly innocent question from a youngster “Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?

Now, understand, Jo Rowling is an adult, writing books that typically are aimed at a young readership, but also makes them appealing to adults as well. Her answer to this young fan was:

…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…’ I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, ‘Dumbledore’s gay!’

Now, PLEASE! I am begging, someone tell me, why would Jo Rowling come to a fan gathering, book signing, and seeing all those young faces of happy children eager to meet their new idol, and announce (after a perfectly innocent question) that “oh ya, one of my characters is gay”? I mean really folks, the right answer should have been “no, the story doesn’t go into a love life with this character (which is the indisputable truth). The story focuses on the lives of the children characters in it” and left it at that. But no, Jo Rowling saw an opportunity, she seized the moment (in front of the young audience) and dollar signs flashed in front of Rowling’s eyes as she announces “yes, yes as a matter of fact, that’s right, yes indeed, that’s a great idea, Dumbledore IS gay, I’m glad I thought of it” and sits back with a smirck of financial windfall and popular controversy on her face. Maybe she just got this grand notion that she had to be “politically correct” and add gay community to her story since she already included a nice smattering of ethnicities in the books. The problem is, the smattering of ethnicities is nicely evident in the books, social issues of peer pressure and other childhood problems are a focus in her characters, as well as puppy love and cliques or clubs, gay issues are not.

Jo Rowling did a great job of covering a lot of issues in the lives of children growing up and facing the challenges of their surroundings and life issues in general, in her books. I never read one hint of homosexuality in her books. So why try and incorporate it after the fact to a fan base of generally children?

As far as I am concerned, this was a HUGE blunder by Rowling, and I am sure she had no idea what the implications of announcing that the “Head Master, The Definitive Authority at a school of children, the Respected Leader and symbol of what is good and right in the world”, would be by making this character gay all of a sudden, or at all.

I just don’t get it.


2 responses to “Why? just tell me Why!

  1. To be fair, it is a reasonably significant part of the plot. SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:

    Dumbledore being gay reflects directly on his relationship with Grindelwald (sp?), that in turn affected the path of ownership of the elder wand — a major part of the final book. It also affected the fate of his sister, which was part of the previous book’s ending…

    I’m absolutely certain it was an intentional and planned detail for the character from the beginning. Possibly it could have been revealed with a little more… tact, though.

  2. Thank you for your comment Pete. I have to admit that when I read the books, I did so with a child-like innocence. I didn’t read anything into it much like a child eagerly anticipating each new chapter. What bothers me the most is reading a series of books written for children, by an author who definitely has a talent for story telling, appealing to a child audience and trying to what…convey to an adolescent audience the nuances and subtleties of a school headmaster being gay? This of course assuming that the adolescent audience is somehow broadly versed on the issues of gay sex and gay relationships and that being gay means having sex with someone of the same sex.

    Since Rowling didn’t have the courage to come outright in the book and describe or explain that Dumbledore was gay, she felt it was better to “suggest” it through subtle innuendo? I think every bit of the reader audience took the story as completely innocent and didn’t “assume” there was any homosexuality going on with any of the characters, as I am sure the look of shock on the script writers faces was just as honest when Rowling annotated in the script margin that Dumbledore was gay.

    I think the shock of this announcement speaks volumes supporting the truly innocent and non-assuming nature of the readership.

    What was Rowling thinking? Did she just assume that every child understands what being gay is? Did she think parents were going to sit down and blatantly explain what being gay means to their children so that they could understand some hidden message about the life of Dumbledore that isn’t explicitly explained in the book?

    A child asked the question of Dumbledore ever being in love to Rowling. Rowling somehow figures that announcing that Dumbledore is gay is a good answer? It doesn’t answer the question, and how could a child understand her answer if the child isn’t fully versed on what being gay means?

    None of this sudden outburst about Dumbledore’s sexuality makes any sense other than the fact that Rowling herself, and her alone “imagined” Dumbledore was gay…in her OWN mind. What she has done is taken a perfectly good innocent great story about kids growing up and turned it into a gay crusade, plain and simple. There are several hero’s in the story, including the headmaster of the school himself, and after the last book is written, announce that he is gay? Why not announce that every single character in the book is gay? It will have the same impact on the innocent minds who already read the books, idolizes the characters, the hero’s, etc as this does.

    Now, Pete, you say you are certain it was an intentional and planned detail, however, there are no details of “any” homosexuality in the Harry Potter series. Not withstanding, if the relationship were detailed enough to reflect on Dumbledore that he was gay and thus Grindelwald as well being gay then I could understand it the way you put it. Being gay doesn’t reflect directly on a relationship with someone of the same sex, but the opposite is true, being in a relationship with someone of the same sex does reflect on the two parties involved as being gay.

    Maybe that’s why name calling and slander are so effective with some people. Calling someone a name, doesn’t make the person that thing, however if the actions of a person outright depict the definition that has a name, then I can see the name applying. We can all say someone is gay or stupid or malcontent, then look hard for actions or characteristics of that person to support our claim, in hopes of justifying the name calling, which is what I think Rowling is stabbing at here since there are no outright homosexual activities in the story.

    I just can’t imagine how some of the actors, Dan Radcliffe and Emma Watson as well as the script writers, must feel and think when they are suddenly hit with “Oh ya, the character Dumbldore is Gay!” after doing 5 or 6 successful movies. What if the actors playing the part of Dumbledore were devout Christians, accepted their part in the movie, played their part well, and then after they have performed in a few movies are told, “Oh ya, your character is gay.” I think I would be damn pissed off. Maybe these actors don’t care, maybe they do and wouldn’t accept a part if it conflicted with their personal beliefs. In this case it wouldn’t matter, because they were deceived “after the fact.” The point of that being, they were never given the choice, it was sprung on them afterwards.

    Thank you again for your comment Pete. I also think tact was neither an ingredient nor a factor in her announcement. 🙂

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