Sunday, October 21, 2007
Dumbledore Out of the Broom Closet(Deathly Hallows spoiler alert, although if you haven't read it yet shame on you!)
Speaking to an American audience at Carnegie Hall on Friday, J.K. Rowling announced that she always thought of Dumbledore as gay. Apparently Dumbledore's friendship with Gellert Grindelwald was more unrequited love than just friendship. When Grindelwald turned to the dark arts, Albus was "terribly let down" and then went to battle against Gellert. This was Dumbledore's 'great tragedy' she said. The audience was quiet at first, then slowly responded with a thundering applause. I must confess that when I read the tale of Albus and Gellert something seemed missing, though I don't think that thought ever rose high enough in my consciousness to get any real attention, but it all makes sense now.
The question I bring up about all this is does this revelation matter? Those of you that know me know that I think gay rights are a no-brainer. What any consenting adults do with, or to each other so long as no one gets unwillingly hurt is none of my business, and aside from the fact of being romantically attracted to members of their own gender there is no difference between gay and straight people. Well, except maybe for an enhanced fashion sense and more open minds, but I digress. ;-) Will the knowledge that the Obi-Wan Kenobi of this generation is actually gay help with future acceptance, hinder it, or have no effect. Does the unseen love life of a fictional character have any bearing on the real world? And should the producers of the movies really push to get Ian McKellen to play the part now? I honestly haven't figured out what my opinion on this is. I think that, should the children who love the Harry Potter books have this explained to them, it might just lead to a greater future tolerance, but then again if the people explaining do so in a bigoted, insensitive fashion it could do more harm than good. Or, since the books show absolutely no romantic inclinations whatsoever on Dumbledore's part, is this a non-issue. Suppose a long-lost Gene Roddenberry diary were found in which he stated that Spock was actually gay, would there be any repercussions beyond the fan-fic universe? I just don't know.