J. K. Rowling outed that Albus Dumbledore, from her exceptionally popular children’s series Harry Potter, is gay. This was in October 2007 shortly after the release of the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Some people are happy that Hogwarts would accept gay students, and some are grossed-out and enraged that J. K. Rowling revealed this piece of information about the beloved headmaster.
On the 24th of March, just a week ago Time.com published these tweets exchanged by JK Rowling and a fan:
“I wonder why you said that Dumbledore is a gay because I can’t see him in that way,” , by Ana Kocovic
JK Rowling’s response:
.@anakocovic21 Maybe because gay people just look like… people?
After having read the entire 7-book series twice, I’ve been thinking about this. I am with the group that is grossed out and disagrees he is gay. However, at the same time, I can prove he is NOT gay. How? Because there is no explicit nor implicit evidence in the books that says he loves men sexually, or that he is not attracted to women sexually.
First, he does not love Harry Potter, nor Grindelwald sexually.
Simply, Dumbledore, only offered his help and advice to Harry he did not touch nor molest him. I agree he may have been a bit selfish guiding Harry to his own ardent desire to kill Voldemort and secure the deathly hallows, however he did it for the greater good. He wanted Voldemort defeated so the wizarding world could be free of his Hilter-like, genocidal, and fear-mongering regime. The Deathly Hallows quest was a desire of his own.
He also worked with the wizard Gindelwald, at the impressionable age of 17, to devise a plan to save muggles from their weakness, create a new wizarding world order, but found this to be evil and later he dueled with and broke away from him. Grindelwald attended Durmstrang characteristically a school which teaches the dark arts. There’s no indication he had romantic feelings or sexual relations with Gindelwald. He and Grindelwald went their separate ways because Dumbledore refused to use dark magic.
Second, there is no proof that he is not attracted to women.
I don’t recall J.K Rowling writing about Dumbledore’s feelings for a woman, like she wrote about Harry and his feelings toward Cho and Ginny. Except, that is, for his brotherly affection for his sister, Arianna. However, Dumbledore is an old man. Fan speculation is that he is over 100 years old. Men have a considerably less sex drive as they become elderly than when they’re younger and he was elderly throughout all 7 Harry Potter books. He was also driven by a passionate quest for the deathly hallows and his duties at Hogwarts. Furthermore, the work for the Order of the Phoenix took up all of the rest of his free time.
Let me be a Gryffindor and use myself as an example.
I want to become a scholar some day. I’m heterosexual. I’m open to the possibility and want to marry however if men in this world continue to be like the ones that have crossed my path, I don’t see myself getting married — much like many women today who want to marry to have a healthy, happy family who loves each other and sticks together. Short-term-minded, and hyper-sexual men who want more than they give is not what most women want today. Also, I don’t see becoming a scholar and living unmarried as inferior, or “gay” by any means. A Muslim, which is what I am, is commanded to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Also, a hadith in Sahih Muslim says, whoever seeks knowledge, God will make the path to paradise easy for him. For someone who believes in paradise, this is a powerful statement. And maybe someday I would like to find the 12 natural remedies to Crohn’s disease, and possibly a cure for cancer. Does that make me gay?
At the same time, I do believe J. K. Rowling’s statement on Twitter may have been a way to be open to the changing world, especially open to the western world opinion that being gay is acceptable by society — all regardless of the idea that homosexuality is anti-Christian, and anti-Islamic and that the angels of a town where gays met in brothels, turned the city upside down. Her statement may also have been a marketing move to benefit the Harry Potter franchise as more and more people are either joining the gay-lesbian fad, or coming out as gay such as Raven Simone, actress, and Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. I am not anti-gay, however, I think that human beings will overall be happier by heterosexual relationships than homosexual relationships. And I would like to see more happy people. Happy now and happy in the long-run.
And now to …. the MOMENT OF TRUTH
TRUTH of the matter is, Harry potter is a book series, like all books, an author’s art speaks for itself. You can interpret Dumbledore as any way you like, as long as you can provide textual proof in the books: A motherly affection toward harry, eccentric genius, a love for the quest of the deathly hallows, like any great wizard of the times, or a gay lunatic who doesn’t understand his own sexuality.
I prefer to interpret him as an unmarried straight man, who helped Harry Potter overcome his weaknesses, contributed useful knowledge (12 uses of dragon’s blood) to the wizarding community, and helped Harry defeat the greatest evil of the times. But if you think Dumbledore is gay, my guess is, that it’s probably you who doesn’t understand his sexuality. Dwell on it for the rest of your life to your heart’s content, if you wish. While we find cures for heart disease, write the next best-selling Gone with the Wind, create new apps to heal the suffering, and teach orphans in El Salvador. I wish you good luck on your quest.