Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dumbledor's "Gay scandal" is Not

Dumbledore is gay.

Much as it's been in the blogspehere, I'm sure that's no jarring news to anyone now. And like many people who get "news" form the Internet, I of course heard it in a post on Yahoo which had a link leading me to a blog where someone pasted a piece of an AP article and her opinion. And, like so many of us Internet users, I commented on the blog and the post before going to the AP article and reading it for myself. So here are two AP articles, which I figure are as trustworthy as any source:

AP News Article

AP Commentary on how the "Revelation" changes the meaning of Book Seven

OK. Now for my more considered comments:

Sometimes, we don't choose things for our characters. For example, in my trilogy, The Miscria, Joshua is black. No reason, no agenda, no need to introduce "diversity." Joshua was Black, and that's how he came out when I wrote him. By the same token, most of my protagonists are guys--again no agenda, no secret wish to live a man's life. Those are just the characters that tell me their stories. So I'm willing to accept her assertion that she'd "always thought" that Dumbledore was gay. And if that's not the case, she has other issues, and I don't need to support her by blogging about them.

If she really had to have a gay relationship, even in the background, she handled it pretty well. Throughout the books, Dumbledore is a kind, gentle, chaste man. Never was there an indicator that he saw others--adults or children--as sexual objects. Never was the issue of homosexuality even brought up. It's totally invisible unless you have her hint--given months after the book is out.

However, if you look at Dumbledore's life as headmaster as one of a gay person, there's still nothing to object to. Even the Catholic Church has nothing against someone being gay--it's the practice of that relationship that's sin.

Oh, but what about his relationship with Grindelwald? According to the second article, this gives new light to Dumbledore's relationship with his "friend" Grindelwald. OK. Let's look at that. Dumbledore is a depressed teen in a hard, stressful situation. Grindelwald comes on the scene and offers him happiness and love--all the while filling him with ideas of wizard superiority and the use of forbidden magic in order to force his views on the world. Dumbledore is "inflamed" by these ideas--well, weren't the Germans of the 1930s inflamed by the ideas of Hitler? Grindelwald is an evil, charismatic predator.--and Dumbledore a young foolish victim. When Dumbledore finally sees the truth, it's nonetheless difficult for him to break free of Grindelwald's hold on him. When he does, it finally ends in a duel and death.
Yeah. Healthy, loving relationship, even without the questionable sexual influences. Reading about it in this light makes me accepting of the practice.

Finally, I'd like to point out that we are talking about fantasy. I am no more going to turn to a gay lifestyle than I am to the practice of magic--nor am I looking to Rowling for spiritual direction. Rowling laughs about the fanfic that may come out now. This is known as slash and slash has always been written about characters. Slash has been written about James T Kirk--and never was there a more randy obviously heterosexual character written.

Incidentally, JK Rowling is not breaking any new ground with a gay hero. Mercedes Lackey did that years ago with Herald Vanyel (The Last Herald Mage series.) Lackey writes better fantasy than Rowling, too.


Ann Margaret Lewis said...

Excellent post, Karina. And I agree, better fantasy has been written!

Terri said...

Well, it's better than the "SpongeBob is gay scandal a couple of years ago. The fact, he had a girlfriend (a squirrel who lived in a glass bubble under the sea) made no difference to the people looking for scandal. Don't ask how I know. I have neices and nephews.

I've not read the books. I know I'm the only human in the western hemisphere who hasn't. I tend to avoid the overly hyped book almost on principle.

However, your description of the character as "chaste" is probably why he is considered gay. Anyone who is not sweating up the bedsheets with a member of opposite sex nowadays is considered perverted. Being chaste or :::horrors::: celebate is viewed with suspicion.

When I told someone that I had chosen a life of celebacy, one gentleman, a pastor at that, basically told me that I was either lying or a lesbian. Neither of which are true.

Anyway, good post.

Karina Fabian said...

Thanks, Terri,

...and on behalf of those of us who value responsible sexuality: brava on your choice! (Sounds to me like that pastor could use a few lessons from you.) Celebacy is a valued practice among Catholics--and not just for priests.

Sandy Cheeks, BTW, was a friend who was a girl, not a girlfriend. about their only physical contact was in a little game SpongeBob liked to call "Kah-Rah-TAY." Don't ask how I know. I've got kids.

Remember the Seseme Street "Promote Acceptance/Ernie and Bert are Gay" rumors? People seem to need to see ulterior motives in everything. Why do we need to pervert innocence?