If you’ve been on the internet at all this week, you may have been inundated with hilarious spins on J.K. Rowling’s little revelation about all the, uh, magic Dumbledore made with Grindelwald.
In a nutshell, it all started when Rowling revealed in an interview that:
“(Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s) relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship . . . I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.”
She’s explained in the past that Dumbledore would never find “true love” because he’s already experienced his great tragic love story with the good-boy-turned-evil Gellert Grindelwald.
Rowling’s initial announcement that Dumbledore is gay was met with mixed reactions. It’s not that anyone has a problem with Dumbledore being gay (as Rowling tweeted, if Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that nobody deserves to live in a closet); it’s the way Rowling is allegedly capitalising on the attention that has some of us feeling like this might not be okay.
Rowling first revealed to the wider public that Dumbledore was gay years ago. It’s worth noting that his sexuality is not explicitly mentioned in the Harry Potter novels. This was predominantly deemed as justifiable; the series focuses on a young Harry Potter whose relationship with Dumbledore is that of mentee/mentor, student/teacher, even borderline fatherly. Harry was unconcerned with Dumbledore’s sexuality, and thus that aspect of Dumbledore’s character remained implicit in the actual story. When a fan first told Rowling she couldn’t “see” Dumbledore being gay, Rowling responded with, “maybe that’s because gay people just look like . . . people?”.
But it’s 2019 now, and we hold our media – fictional or otherwise – more accountable for representations of sexuality. Therefore, the way Rowling withheld from directly mentioning Dumbledore’s sexuality and is now garnering a tonne of media attention from bringing it up randomly – especially in the Fantastic Beasts era.
At the end of the day, Harry Potter is a children’s book series – and the fact that J.K. Rowling throws some random sexual content into the mix some twelve years after the last book was released is a little strange. For this reason, some fans have their wands in a knot, accusing the famous author of attempting to diversify the franchise.
Although Dumbledore’s lavish cloaks and quirky behaviour may indeed be a reflection of his sexuality, there’s nothing cement in the Harry Potter books, nor the films, that confirms this. Is she simply vying for media attention? If so, it’s worked. She’s also tweeted, in response to a fan’s question, that LGBTQ+ children did in fact attend Hogwarts – but again, there’s nothing in her published works to back this up. The issue is that Rowling literally had seven novels, a bunch of spin-offs, eight films and now a stage show to demonstrate some LGBTQ+ inclusivity, but only seems to want to discuss the sexuality of her characters at promotional events.
So, Twitter has been doing what it does best – and is roasting the absolute shit out of Rowling’s revelation – and we’re here for it:
Do you think Rowling is trying to support the LGBTQ+ plight for equality with these comments, or is she trying to capitalise on the publicity it’s bringing? Let us know in the comments below!