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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.

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Reader Comments: (Page 9)

I was initially shocked by this revelation, but in hindsight not so surprised. First JK has always said she had backstories on all her characters, even some who didn't make it into the book. I doubt very seriously this is something new that she thought up, but rather a part of what made Dumbledore who he was. It was always there, but as it didn't factor into the plot, why mention it.
As for why it didn't come out directly in the books, that is pretty easy. It is the same reason we assume none of the teachers are married, but are we really sure? These stories are told from Harry's perspective. I do not recall one time where Harry wondered about the personal lives of any of his teachers, except Hagrid and Maxime. Simply because they were not mentioned doesn't meant there weren't spouses/partners.
I view this whole "outing" akin to a dear friend or relative coming out. They are still the same person I loved before their announcement, while I may be initially shocked, who they are does not change with this revelation. Bravo Jo. Now hurry up with the encyclopedia, please!

Posted by B&B;'s mom from South Georgia on October 22, 2007 6:22 PM

really, Dumbledore being is not really a thing of concern. Dumbledore's not being married, i always thought, was like Queen Elizabeth's. He was more Married to Hogwarts, he was like a father to all of the children that went there and loved and cared for all of them, even draco, a boy planning to him.

but really, it is in more of how you precive the fictional book. Its not real, he's not a real person. How did you think/feel of Dumbledore? because it had no real affect on the plot, it didnt matter if he were or not. she could hae lived her whold life without saying it and no one would have thought any differently.

Posted by meagan from texas on October 22, 2007 6:26 PM

He's , get over it. I've always thought of Dumbledore as the pefect old wizard, and I'm not letting his issues "tarnish my memory of him"
As Dumbledore would have said Nitwit Blubber Oddment Tweak

Posted by Harry Potter lvr 101 from Where ever I am on October 22, 2007 6:42 PM

Personally, at first i was very surprised by the fact that J.K. Rowling had announced that Dumbledore was a . After reading the books countless times though, it does seem likely. Considering you would only here about Dumbledore's past relationships with men and not women. There are certain hints in the books that might prove that Dumbledore is .

Either way if he is or not, Albus Dumbledore is one of the best characters in this book and should be respected any way. This statement of his "ity" does not lose any of my interest in these books. And it is nice to know just a little more about a characters past.

Posted by katrina from conway , arkansas on October 22, 2007 7:09 PM

About 10% of the human population is , I don't see why Dumbledore couldn't be one of them. Also: adding ity almost makes the book seem more real, and doesn't change Harry's quest, I don't understand why people are getting so upset about it.

Posted by Me from New York on October 22, 2007 7:13 PM

I find this new bit of information more exciting. As you can tell, from years passing by, the books have grown from children's books to young adult books. We grow along with the charcters. I'm actually happy she made him . lity is not something the world can simply hide from our children. they'll eventaully find out. So why hide it? And what if one a young child is turning ? He/she view our looks on lity and become lost and confused. Ashamed of themselves. This matter gives a more scense of reality to the Harry Potter world. And I don't believe whether you like boys or girls makes this series more adult.

Posted by Casey from Ohio on October 22, 2007 7:16 PM

I'm a man and I could not tell you why. I just am. Just like Dumbledore.

How I wish I could have had such a role model growing up.

Thank you again Jo!

Posted by Brian Cordova from Broken Arrow, OK. on October 22, 2007 7:47 PM

It really doesn't matter one way or another if he's ; in the sense that it doesn't make the book worse or better(as some people may take it). It's just an interesting fact.

One comment I read was along the lines of "this is crazy, it's a children's book!"...Kids can't handle the subject of people? Like it's something to be ashamed of, like a curse word, something to be kept from the minds of children? Seriously people need to open their minds. I think that's why JKR did it, and did it after the book ended. Not to gain attention or popularity, but to try and broaden people's minds, because HP is all about acceptance, and this fact about Dumbledore is no different. I think revealing this about him AFTER countless people fell in love with his character is an extremely clever way to do it.

Posted by Adam from tx on October 22, 2007 7:51 PM

Hmmm... I think what people must realize is that J.K. Rowling knows more about all of the characters than any of us... so, while we only know what we have read, and what bits she has told us in interviews, she still knows -- and has always known -- much more, and sees them from that perspective.

To us, Dumbledore being may be a surprise, but to her, he has always been that way!

Also want to mention that I love some of the insights people have been giving, about ity not being sexual, in and of itself. So true. And thank you for pointing out that, just because he is , does not mean he is attracted to every man across whom he comes, much as a is not attracted to every member of the opposite sex.

I would like to point out that the reason Dumbledore was single still probably has a lot to do with his obsession with power. I know that him being opens up a few other reasons, but we must remember that he loved power more than anything, for a long time, and that it probably had much to do with his aloneness in his later life...

Posted by Katie T from California on October 22, 2007 8:13 PM

OotP page 263, in the penisieve when harry saw Dumbledore's flamboyent suit of plum, harry said nice suit, sir to dumbledore, whom it says merely chuckled, which says to me that harry knew Dumbledore was , and Dumbledore knew Harry knew.

Posted by Pam from Ar on October 22, 2007 8:15 PM

It pays to keep in mind here that these books were written for a younger aunce, and so Rowling consciously avoided any kind of racey content. For example, it is never really suggested that some "Muggle Borns" may in fact be the result of casual liasons between wizards and muggles, even though this is very likely. In the books only intermarriages are discussed.

Likewise, Dumbledore being is a kind of interesting tidbit, but is not central to the story. Most (if not all) of the Hogwart's teachers appear to be single (rather old school academia if you ask me), so I'm not sure he was "hiding" something so much as it just wasn't pursued, much like the romantic lives of the rest of the faculty weren't really dwelt upon either.

That said, I did have suspicions, and I'm quite happy they were true.

Posted by Daniel from Philly, PA on October 22, 2007 8:25 PM

In not making it obvious in the book, she has treated the fact as normal and mundane. And in making a character one of the greatest wizards of all time, not to mention one of the series best respected characters, she is being explicit about the recuring themes of tolerance and respect which pervade the story. (Did those who now object really think she was anti-?) That Harry has learned these values not only serves his advantage, but underlines his own hero status.

JKR doesn't want readers to think of Dumbledore as straight. She is doing it now because it is the truth. Dumbledore was a character, not just a plot device, just as despite the belief of many that Harry had to leave Dumbledore to be the hero, Dumbledore didn't allow his to stop him giving Harry all the help he could arrange. JKR is entitled to preserve the integrity of her character, regardless of the demands of a genre, or market.

There have been comments from her that a compendium of additional information one day be written. Presumably this was going to be in that book. So it is really only a question of when we should learn this.

Posted by Phil from Illinois on October 22, 2007 8:40 PM

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