JK Rowling Outs Dumbledore [the fictional book character] as Gay

20 10 2007

A shock to some, a confirmed interpretation for others, this isn’t fan fiction. This is a candid revelation about JK Rowling’s writing process and prowess:

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | JK Rowling outs Dumbledore as gay
She took audience questions and was asked if Dumbledore found “true love”.

“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”

I applaud JK’s decision to reveal this intriguing tid bit about Dumbledore’s backstory. I do so, not just because it will piss off the religious right even more about the Potter books, but because its a real achievement for Rowling as an artist.

Most artists want their work to “say” or mean something in particular, but the exact message or subtext of any work is left up to the interpreter or reader. In fact, it is often said, once an artist reveals a work to the public, the exact meaning of that work is out of the artists hands.

In this case JK Rowling created a homosexual character that never reveals his sexual preference throughout the course of SEVEN books. Obviously, in light of the quotes from the BBC article, this was a tool for herself to be able to write Dumbledore with some mysterious weight in his heart. The accomplishment is that the big Harry Potter fan sites picked up on this infinitesimal facet of Dubledore as a written character.

My conclusion, is that this revelation is not some contrived controversy based on a society that is largely intolerant of homosexuals. This revelation is merely a fact about Dumbledore’s character that JK Rowling, up until recently, kept tucked away in her head. A fact that was communicated to many Harry Potter readers via a dynamic, palpable world and society.  A world and society that Rowling created with nothing but her mind and a word processor.

Well done JK!!