So What?

This item was in Yahoo News, and I wanted to share it with everybody:

Outing gives Potter passages new meaning

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer Sun Oct 21, 2:06 PM ET

NEW YORK – With author J.K. Rowling’s revelation that master wizard Albus Dumbledore is gay, some passages about the Hogwarts headmaster and rival wizard Gellert Grindelwald have taken on a new and clearer meaning.

The British author stunned her fans at Carnegie Hall on Friday night when she answered one young reader’s question about Dumbledore by saying that he was gay and had been in love with Grindelwald, whom he had defeated years ago in a bitter fight.

“‘You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me,'” Dumbledore says in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the seventh and final book in Rowling’s record-breaking fantasy series.

The news brought gasps, then applause at Carnegie Hall, the last stop on Rowling’s brief U.S. tour, and set off thousands of e-mails on Potter fan Web sites around the world. Some were dismayed, others indifferent, but most were supportive.

“Jo Rowling calling any Harry Potter character gay would make wonderful strides in tolerance toward homosexuality,” Melissa Anelli, webmaster of the fan site http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ap/ap_en_ot/storytext/books_potter_dumbledore/24904963/SIG=113415unb/*http:/www.the-leaky-cauldron.org, told The Associated Press. “By dubbing someone so respected, so talented and so kind, as someone who just happens to be also homosexual, she’s reinforcing the idea that a person’s gayness is not something of which they should be ashamed.”

“‘DUMBLEDORE IS GAY’ is quite a headline to stumble upon on a Friday evening, and it’s certainly not what I expected,” added Potter fan Patrick Ross, of Rutherford, N.J. “(But) a gay character in the most popular series in the world is a big step for Jo Rowling and for gay rights.”

Gellert Grindelwald was a dark wizard of great power, who terrorized people much in the same way Harry’s nemesis, Lord Voldemort, was to do a generation later. Readers hear of him in the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in a reference to how Dumbledore defeated him. In “Deathly Hallows,” readers learn they once had been best friends.

“Neither Dumbledore nor Grindelwald ever seems to have referred to this brief boyhood friendship in later life,” Rowling writes. “However, there can be no doubt that Dumbledore delayed, for some five years of turmoil, fatalities, and disappearances, his attack upon Gellert Grindelwald. Was it lingering affection for the man or fear of exposure as his once best friend that caused Dumbledore to hesitate?”

As a young man, Dumbledore, brilliant and powerful, had been forced to return home to look after his mentally ill younger sister and younger brother. It was a task he admits to Harry that he resented, because it derailed the bright future he had been looking forward to.

Then Grindelwald, described by Rowling as “golden-haired, merry-faced,” arrived after having been expelled from his own school. Grindelwald’s aunt, Bathilda Bagshot, says of their meeting: “The boys took to each other at once.” In a letter to Grindelwald, Dumbledore discusses their plans for gaining wizard dominance: “‘(I)f you had not been expelled we would never have met.'”

Potter readers had speculated about Dumbledore, noting that he has no close relationship with women and a mysterious, troubled past.

“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said Friday of Dumbledore’s feelings about Grindelwald, adding that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down.”

Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his “great tragedy.”

jkr.jpgThis revelation from J.K. Rowling is a bit shocking. As a reader, I had never interpreted his words (in the seventh book) about Grindelwald as a sign of being gay. Although at the back of my mind, I wondered why Dumbledore never got married.

“You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me.”

When I read this passage before, I attributed it toalbusdumbledore.jpg Dumbledore’s passion for knowledge and how he devine great ideas. Grindelwald was someone whom he can relate to. And it wasn’t really Grindelwald but his IDEAS that “caught” and “inflamed” Dumbledore.

But who am I to question J.K.R’s declaration? She knows the characters in the Harry Potter series more than anyone in the universe. She created them. If she says Dumbledore is gay, then he’s gay.😀

Seriously, does it really matter if Albus Dumbledore was gay? So what if he had been in love with Gellert Grindelwald. Overall, he was a good person, very respectable, very sensitive and considerate. Anyway, your gender preference doesn’t define you as a person.

I’m thinking, should I read the books again–or at least the seventh book–open my eyes wider and really read between the lines this time? Maybe I’d find some clues there.😀

5 Responses to So What?

  1. Len ay nagsabing:

    For a Potter fan like you and me, JKR’s revelation is indeed shocking but it doesn’t matter, well, unless you’re a sexist.

  2. tayns ay nagsabing:

    yup, shocking still i couldn’t care less if he’s gay or not. what matters is the way the character was presented – a wise, brilliant and kind character. He’s still my favorite character and I do not regret the tears I shed when he died in book 6.

  3. Tim ay nagsabing:

    I’d like to share a few cooments on that from http://www.peyups.com:

    schadenfreude:
    I don’t get why Rowling has to reveal that tidbit. Nothing against gays, but I felt that was totally unnecessary. It doesn’t contribute anything significant to the story, and it just changes everything. Personally, at least. In love with Grindelwald?! Has she run out of ideas?

    Very disappointed in Rowling. Halatang nagsesell-out na siya, nagpapadikta na lang sa gusto ng fans niya kahit na sobrang labo. Tila ginagaya na lang niya yung mga ideas niya.

    Leela:
    isipin pa tuloy ng readers na kaya ganun yung care niya for harry is because may more to that pa pala…

    i was never inclined to think na bading si dumbledore. even when i read the books, parang wala namang hint. can (sic) two guys be friends lang?

    (^3^)

  4. insekto ay nagsabing:

    yeah, does it matter if he’s gay?
    i know, i’m not (argh! bakeeet defensive kng insekto ka?)

  5. Salve ay nagsabing:

    @len, i totally agree with you.

    @tayns, syempre one of the fave characters pa rin si dumbledore, no matter what. how are you, girl?😀

    @tim, opinyon nila yan. i know it could be a marketing strategy, but the hp series is still gonna sell (or sell even more) after that revelation. di naman ako disappointed. sa tingin ko wala ding “something” dun sa pag-care ni dumbledore kay harry. i think dumblefore felt responsible, in a way, for the death of harry’s parents. he had the invisibilty cloak at that time. what if he didn’t borrow it from james potter, maybe the turn of events would be different. di ba?

    @insekto, it doesn’t matter di ba? bat ka nga pala defensive? hehehe. salamat sa pagbisita.🙂

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