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J.K.'s surprising revelation about Dumbledore

by David Haber

Just a little over a year ago, on August 2, 2006, J.K. Rowling made a statement at her reading in New York City, at Radio City Music hall, that was big news and related directly to what we talk about on this web site. Well, tonight she's done it again. This evening, again in New York City, this time at Carnegie Hall, J.K. Rowling dropped a bombshell on the Harry Potter fan community.

> Read the full article

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Reader Comments: (Page 6)

Enrique: Yes, it's just an assumption, but an effeminate man, especially a handsome one like Lockhart, is frequently attractive to females, and of course, the men you're speaking of that hate him would be the straight men.

The point you made about Lockhart being the only character based on a real person is also fascinating, because she's been asked repeatedly if Lockhart was and avoided directly answering. I believe it's logical to assume the reason she would do this is because Lockhart is based on a real person, and she would be affecting the real person if she commented on the sexual preference of Lockhart.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 21, 2007 09:54 AM

this seems weird, but it sort of fits.

Posted by siriusfan on October 21, 2007 10:33 AM

I always read Dumbledore as being above such things as romance and relationships. Especially during his later years. But looking back now..... It all seems to fit.

Finally, a realistic, (minus the wizardy stuff), character that does away with the stereotypical accent, lack of morals and dubious night time activities.

He is still my hero!

Posted by Anonymous on October 21, 2007 11:15 AM

I never thought of Dumbledore as , but I never thought of him as straight, either - it seems to me that he - and all the other Hogwarts teachers were single. I can't recall one instance of a husband or wife being mentioned - Tonks and Lupin didn't get together until Lupin had left Hogwarts, and even Hagrid, who I thought would end up with Madame Maxime - appears to have been alone at the end of book 7, when Harry reminds his sons that they are expected to tea with Hagrid - not Hagrid and Maxime. As for Lockhart, he is far too narcissistic to notice others, male or female - I always thought that Jonathon Ross should have played him in the film! I don't think that any of them needed their mentioning in the books - it wasn't really relevant to the story.

Posted by waterbaby from London on October 21, 2007 12:27 PM

i never thought about it until i read the elphias doge thing in book 7... it makes sense, but it wasnt really relevant to the story. it sort of explains his secretiveness, though. hmm... being and a wizard would really make you unable to confide in people...

Posted by Anonymous on October 21, 2007 12:56 PM

Sensible of JK not to have said this earlier. I mean, think about all the people who refused to let their kids read HP because of religious quibbles? Imagine the homophobic backlash.

And now kids whose parents are homophobes have already fallen in love with Dumbledore, and those parents be powerless to change their opinion of him. It's great! JK's managed to strike a blow against homophobic beliefs everywhere. Go Dumbledore!

Posted by viridian on October 21, 2007 2:04 PM

I wish people wouldn't try to retrofit Dumbledore into some sort of " personality". It doesn't exist. Not all men are Julian Clary. Dumbledore was who he was. And a minor fact of this was that he was attracted to men. A major fact of this is that one of those men turned out to be the wizarding world equivalent to Hitler, which is a plot-turning point.

And re it being a children's book. I have three kids, the oldest of whom is getting into Harry Potter. I am absolutely delighted that one of the HP characters has been outed. If any of my kids turn out to be /bi I want these positive role models to be around in their fiction. In particular, I love the fact that he is shown as romantically, rather than sexually, attracted, to men, just as relationships tend to concentrate on the romantic aspect.

I don't think its ideal that JKR didn't out dumbledore in book 7. She certainly hinted at it, the clues were there, perhaps for the adults. BUT I think she's walking a tightrope here. The reaction has often been to reject this information as non-canon (which is not usually done-no one has questiond whether Neville REALLY marries Hannah). I think overall she's played it well. She's challenged us.

Posted by Edith from UK on October 21, 2007 2:12 PM

I diagree with the comments that say this "ruins" the book by putting in "adult" content. Do you have any doubt what Ron, Hermione or Harry's sexual orientation are? Did all that "snogging" ruin the book? The notion that someone being is too "adult" for kids be a shocker to every kid who has a parent, and all of their friends, and all of the kids of adults with friends. They think it's just part of life. So does Rowling.

Posted by Mom of Faith on October 21, 2007 2:15 PM

At first... i was shocked! i had never thought that dumbledore would be ! but now... it makes sense, and who cares? he's still an ultra-cool guy! Go Dumbledore!

Posted by Vylene on October 21, 2007 6:24 PM

I have read many different accounts of this announcement I think this is fantastic. I love that there is now a confirmed character in Harry Potter. I'd almost given up hope...

I also think this is essential to making Dumbledore human. In the ly Hallows, we learn a great deal about him, most of it being his errors as a young adult. These help to show him as a simple human, capable of error. Showing that it was possible for him to have romantic feelings for someone only helps with this.

In terms of the Harry Potter books being children's books and this being inappropriate for children, I don't think you can conceivably classify these books as being either Children's, Young Adult, or Adult books. They simply are. She had a story to tell and she told it. She didn't write specifically for a certain age group, she just wrote. Yes, they are usually said to be Children's Books, but that is probably mostly because they started out being about children and are fantasy novels. But that doesn't even matter. Even if they ARE children's books, Dumbledore being still doesn't matter. These books are ultimately about seeing the good in people, accepting people based on whether or not they are kind and good, not on other things they can be labeled as, be it mudblood, poor, or even . This is a message that children need to learn and follow, so them being children's books isn't even a conceivable argument against Rowling telling the truth about Dumbledore.

Basically, I'm really happy about this and am frankly surprised by those who didn't even have a bit of a suspicion when reading the final book.

Dumbledore has not changed, he's still the same character, we just know more about him. And I still want to know even more!

Posted by Anonymous on October 21, 2007 7:12 PM

This is a pointless revelation. There were little to no clues given in the book that Dumbledore was . I have no problem with whatever JK wanted to make any of her characters, but you cannot add to the story by making announcements in the future. The fact that Dumbledore was had no bearing on the book so it was not included in the book. It therefore does not need to be included now.

That being sad, Dumbledore was still an amazing complex character and one that beloved no matter what his was.

Posted by John from Belford, NJ on October 21, 2007 7:37 PM

i agree with pam and makenzie, just because we didn't know something doesn't mean no one else did. it's concevable that it was never talked about becasue everybody knew! and even these little details that aren't included in the story, that aren't really relevent, are esential for a complete character. writers come up with milions of details about their characters they never mention because it's irrelevent or would take up too much space. but without those details, the character would not be fully formed in the writters mind and translate so well into ours.

i think this is a step toward tolerance. and why is everyone so worried about kids being upset that dumbledore is ? it's usualy adults who obsess over these things. i think they'll be the ones getting upset, not the kids. the older generation doesn't have to keep things from the younger, which is on the whole growing up more tolerant. and this is why I love books like this!

Posted by rachel on October 21, 2007 8:44 PM

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