I can’t believe I’m blogging about this now-lingering Harry Potter story, but I suppose anything is possible in an infinite Universe. I’m motivated to write about this because I’m pissed off at what J.K. Rowling has done and how the news of a gay character has been received in some quarters.
Shame on Rowling for “outing” the character of Dumbledore after the completion of the series. While some are heralding this as a step forward in terms of the growing acceptance of gays and gay characters, it is in reality a step in the opposite direction.
By outing the character in this way -- without any serious intimations in the books that Dumbledore was in fact homosexual (come on, Rowling, who do you think you’re fooling?) -- it comes across as a pathetic attempt to look progressive and tolerant after the fact. By doing this, Rowling has instead created a token gay character for which she can now pretend to herself and lie to her readers that they should have known it all along.
Here's a novel idea: how about having an openly gay character from start to finish? Perhaps Rowling is experiencing an acute case of heterosexual woman's guilt by not doing so. Whatever the reason, this back-peddling is really quite sad and is not helping the cause.
Shame also goes out to all the homophobes who have reacted negatively because it is now known that there is a gay character in this so-called children’s series, or because of their unease with the suggestion that a gay man was permitted to routinely interact with children. The squeamishness that some people have over the idea of gays interacting with kids is abhorrent and unfair; it belies the many misconceptions and unfounded fears that a number of people have about homosexuality.
Thankfully, in my household, where these topics are discussed openly and matter-of-factly, my Harry Potter obsessed children took no issue with the revelation that Dumbledore was gay, nor could they understand what all the fuss was about.
It all starts at home.