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Author Topic: Rowling drops the gay bomb  (Read 24018 times)

onewheelwizzard

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Rowling drops the gay bomb
« on: 19 Oct 2007, 20:14 »

Maybe this belongs in the books forum, but to be honest I thought it more an I-Like-Fish flavor myself.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/50787

"In front of a full house of hardcore Potter fans at Carnegie Hall in New York, Rowling, sitting on the stage on a red velvet and carved wood throne, read from her seventh and final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," then took questions. One fan asked whether Albus Dumbledore, the head of the famed Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft,  had ever loved anyone. Rowling smiled.  "Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling as the audience errupted in surprise. She added that,  in her mind, Dumbledore had an unrequited love affair with Gellert Grindelwald, Voldemort's predecessor who appears in the seventh book. After several minutes of prolonged shouting and clapping from astonshed fans, Rowling added. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy.""
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Johnny C

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #1 on: 19 Oct 2007, 20:22 »

unleash the internet
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #2 on: 19 Oct 2007, 20:36 »

I wonder how those hardcore Christian groups who couldn't handle wizards, let alone homosexual wizards, are going to react to this?
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onewheelwizzard

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #3 on: 19 Oct 2007, 20:38 »

Probably by accidentally making it more popular.
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Liz

Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #4 on: 19 Oct 2007, 21:08 »

Oh my goodness.

Oh my goodness.

Oh my goodness slash writers are going to go absolutely crazy.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #5 on: 19 Oct 2007, 21:09 »

Is she saying gay people can't love??  I know she mentions the affair, but that's what it sounds like.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #6 on: 19 Oct 2007, 21:29 »

who the hell is Hannah Abott?

why does it sound like she just made that name up right on the spot?
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Liz

Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #7 on: 19 Oct 2007, 21:37 »

Hannah Abott was at least mentioned in the first book. She was the first to get sorted and ended up in Hufflepuff, I believe.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #8 on: 19 Oct 2007, 22:59 »

She was mentioned a couple times...

I just made a myspace bulletin out of this. I feel so...geeky...all of my friends are hardcore Harry Potter fans. Or they are gay. Either one. Thought it really came as no surprise, someone at Hogwarts had to be gay. It was just a given.
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Oerdin

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #9 on: 19 Oct 2007, 23:43 »

I wonder how those hardcore Christian groups who couldn't handle wizards, let alone homosexual wizards, are going to react to this?

Religious fundamentalists of all stripes (you have to remember the Harry Potter books are popular around the world) have already condemned the books and called for them to be banned so I'm not sure what else they can do.  Falwell's claims that the Teletubies promoted homosexuality actually resulted in the series getting picked up by more networks because of all the hype he caused.

I guess it's true what they say in Hollywood; any publicity is good publicity.  The more the religious groups protest the more publicity they give to the series.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #10 on: 20 Oct 2007, 02:37 »

Oh my goodness slash writers are going to go absolutely crazy.

Quote
[Rowling] also said after revelation: "I had to give you something to talk about for the next 10 years...Just imagine the fan fiction now."

She knows.

Quote
"If you could marry anyone from the Harry Potter series, who would it be?" asked by Kristian Cuzco, 18, from Concord High School on Staten Island.

"I married a really good person. Harry is a really good person. And he's a gutsy person," Rowling said.

Wait, what?
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #11 on: 20 Oct 2007, 03:52 »

Oh my goodness slash writers are going to go absolutely crazy.

My very first though, infact I momentarily froze up as my brain processed the full scale of the internet based implications. Actually, you know what? I don't think I'll be on the internet for a few days. I'm going to ride out this storm in the safety of some video games, old man slash can't reach me there.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #12 on: 20 Oct 2007, 05:27 »

Actually, guys, this is pretty cool. You don't get many gay characters in books written for children/young adults at all, let alone admirable ones. Then again, she could have let slip actually in the books...Phillip Pullman had gay angels bouncing around everywhere and no one complained that much.

Actually, I know it's a tangent, but did the His Dark Materials books not get big in the US? If something as harmless as Harry Potter could make them froth up, I imagine that HDM would make their heads explode a la Todd.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #13 on: 20 Oct 2007, 07:13 »

Seriously, if the gay angels weren't a slap in the face of every right-wing conservative christian Republican I don't know what is. And now they are making a movie that stars people like Nicole Kidman and the guy who plays the new Bond.

Though it being a "family movie" I bet you 50 bucks they write the gayness out of the second one. And the polar bear eating the cowboy. Man, I need to go read those books again.

And as for Dumbledore being gay I think she's either doing it for publicity or she just wasn't ballsy enough to write it in the books, which I think is a shame either way. Love takes all forms people, even fictional characters like the occasional butt sex.
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Johnny C

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #14 on: 20 Oct 2007, 07:30 »

I bet if you go back and read the books it'll make sense. She's thought out most of the additional, unwritten information about her characters, it looks like. Also, why would she need the publicity? She doesn't. She's filthy rich. They have her reading from a throne.

She just let the character live and felt we didn't need to have it set in stone. That's her call as an author to make.
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Oli

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #15 on: 20 Oct 2007, 08:14 »

I'm not sure Harry Potter could get anymore publicity and/or hype than it has already.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #16 on: 20 Oct 2007, 08:28 »

Beyond all that, outright stating his sexuality in the book would've come off as entirely forced and out of place. I can see exactly where she's coming from after reading book seven. The implications are there for anyone willing to connect the dots.

I can't really picture a scenario in the book where it really would've been at all relevant to the story to have him come out without it coming off as creepy. Honestly, outside of a handful of characters, sexuality wasn't really even touched on. Given, some relationships were there, but nobody felt the need to say "Hey, I'm straight."

This is the difficulty of portraying homosexuality in media. You either play a constant guessing game and constantly imply shit or you just make it gratuitous and out of place in anything other than a long serialized plotline. As an example, the first outted comic book superhero was Northstar of Alpha Flight/X-Men. They hinted at and inferred his sexuality often for the better part of a decade or so before having him finally come out of the closet. This worked because it was a natural progression and it'd been built to and didn't read like pure shock for the sake of it. He was a superhero, but he also happened to be gay. Conversely, the garbage that was Will and Grace handled it about as poorly as possible. The gay characters were just there BECAUSE they were gay. Their only big defining characteristics were being gay stereotypes.

Basically, it's very rare in the real world that one's sexuality is what defines them as a person, yet in the media, it's typically a characters definition.
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KharBevNor

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #17 on: 20 Oct 2007, 08:32 »

Conversation in my kitchen at lunch today:

ME: Hey, you read Harry Potter right?
HOUSEMATE #1: Yeah?
ME: Did you hear the news?
HOUSEMATE: What, about Dumbledore being gay?
ME: Yeah!
(HOUSEMATE #2 WALKS IN)
HOUSEMATE #2: Hey! Hey! Guess what guys?
ME: Dumbledores gay?
HOUSEMATE #2: Oh :(

His Dark Materials spoilers below, in case anyone minds that sort of thing...

They could possibly skirt around gay angels, but I can't see any way you could have anything approaching a similiar plot in the third book without the main characters GOING TO WAR AGAINST GOD AND KILLING HIM.
« Last Edit: 20 Oct 2007, 08:35 by KharBevNor »
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #18 on: 20 Oct 2007, 08:39 »

Were there actually two genders of angels? I got more of a "it's your thoughts and actions that define you as a person rather than your genitalia" feel from it rather than any of the angels being male nor homosexual.

Wait, I think maybe one of them was referred to as 'she' at some point so there goes my take on things. Whatever.
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Ally

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #19 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:17 »

Moving this to the book forum because it really is about books. Guys, if you think something is interesting, it doesn't necessarily need to go into I Like Fish. Pleassse let's give the other subforums some love?
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Liz

Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #20 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:26 »

I've recently started going through all the books again, to pick up clues about the ending, but now I think I'm going to start looking for little Dumbledore-is-gay signs... I'm kind of excited.
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Tehz

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #21 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:27 »

Wingardium leviosa indeed.
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Patrick

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #22 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:35 »

I'm not sure Harry Potter could get anymore publicity and/or hype than it has already.

THIS
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #23 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:39 »

I was always a much bigger HDM fan than Harry Potter, though I am liking this latest bit of news- Dumbledore just raised in cool factor (or gay factor, I suppose) to Captain Shakespeare in Stardust ("We always knew you were a whoopsie!")

And honestly, I don't know what Rowling would've done to appease fans if the reaction wasn't pleasant. She couldn't have pulled the, "At least I didn't kill the character" card. (Oops... :o).

HAHA, I laughed at Khar's apt description of "gay angels bouncing around." I happen to like Balthamos and Baruch! Even though angels don't have definable genitalia, they DO have names!

And as for his spoiler:

Weitz better keep his damn promises :D.

PS: Tehz. HAHA, I see what you've done.
« Last Edit: 20 Oct 2007, 09:41 by Lise »
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Ally

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #24 on: 20 Oct 2007, 09:44 »

Also, Khar, HDM-wise, I always thought that the series was popular over here, but in a different way. Everyone and their mother read the Harry Potter books, but the kids who read His Dark Materials were the ones who had a deeper interest in reading. There actually was some type of flurry about the books. I remember that a few months after I had read The Golden Compass, I read a newspaper article about how it had seriously angered some religious groups or something. But I was in 4th or 5th grade and I don't think I fully comprehended what I was reading. Anyways, HDM never completely "seduced" the world as did Harry Potter.

Maybe Lise knows what I'm sayin'.
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Lise

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #25 on: 20 Oct 2007, 10:01 »

Ally, I just wish I had the chance to read the books at a younger age. Fan jealousy does exist! I can't remember exactly how old I was picking up the first, but I do remember being slightly confused when told that The Amber Spyglass was in the adult section (taboo, I tell ya!). Finishing the series, then going back and reading Pullman's other works was almost disappointing- I wanted a sequel :P (off-topic, but anyone know when Book of the Dust will be released?).

One can argue about whether or not Harry Potter was better suited than HDM in reaching a "wider audience" of children and adults, but I'm giving Ally props for throwing out that HDM fans "were the ones with a deeper interest in reading" (o/, Ally!). Or maybe I've just been reading Harry Potter too informally :P.

Hehe, you can judge the value of each series by how many religious groups riled up.


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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #26 on: 20 Oct 2007, 10:06 »

I remember waiting years for the arrival of the Amber Spyglass. OK, only two years, but it seemed like about forty-six.

Best wait ever.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #27 on: 20 Oct 2007, 10:10 »

My brother is a huge fan of HDM and to the best of my knowledge hasn't read a novel in at least a year. That aside they certainly appeal to a niche compared with harry potter.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #28 on: 20 Oct 2007, 10:18 »

unleash the internet
I need this on a shirt.

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #29 on: 20 Oct 2007, 11:22 »

I sent this to my friend apple, who LOVES harry potter.


I read this on gaygamer and I was like "AHAHAHAW!"
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #30 on: 20 Oct 2007, 11:30 »

So now I have a whole new idea about how Dumbledore got that scar on his knee.

I just wonder why she chose to reveal that? It doesn't really have bearing on the books whatsoever. It almost seems like she wanted to create a frenzy.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #31 on: 20 Oct 2007, 12:50 »

One of my friends asked me if I thought maybe this is why Dumbledore was so interested in Harry. I'm now more scared of my friends.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #32 on: 20 Oct 2007, 14:01 »

Well, it *is* Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry.

Idunno though, maybe it might've been something to do with that whole "HE'S THE ONE TO SAVE EVERY LAST ONE OF US" prophecy thing.
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Mnementh

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #33 on: 20 Oct 2007, 16:40 »

Dumbledore Shot First.

I think that her motivations for disclosing it are pretty clear.  From the yahoo article:

Quote
Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #34 on: 20 Oct 2007, 17:10 »

I need this on a shirt.

Paging Jeph Jacques to this thread. Jeph Jacques, this thread.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #35 on: 20 Oct 2007, 20:15 »

I'm personally glad that Rowling outed ole Dumbles in the way that she did. I think that if she directly referenced homosexuality in her books, some parents wouldn't want their children to read them anymore. I think that by telling telling the world that her beloved character was gay after everyone read the books, she was more effective at winning a victory for tolerance.

This whole thing was better suited as an afterthought.  And what an afterthought it is...
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #36 on: 20 Oct 2007, 20:39 »

When I first heard the news about Dumbledore, my immediate response was, "Huh?" Then, two sentences later, when I heard who his true love was, my second reaction was, "Ohhhhhhhhh......"

It's entirely possible he remained celebate after that. This was not just a forbidden love, but one that contributed to the death of his sister. After that, he may have felt he could no longer trust himself with ANYONE.



P.S. It seems Larry Craig was looking for love in all the wrong places.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #37 on: 20 Oct 2007, 23:15 »

It's entirely possible he remained celebate after that. This was not just a forbidden love, but one that contributed to the death of his sister. After that, he may have felt he could no longer trust himself with ANYONE.
But that's the thing though, what good does a beloved character being gay do for tolerance if he's celibate and harmless? It's about as progressive as Will and Grace was. Or that lesbian prosecutor being outed on Law & Order was. Being gay is totally acceptable to the average person if being gay means not having any interest in sex whatsoever.
« Last Edit: 20 Oct 2007, 23:18 by Kid van Pervert »
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Ozymandias

Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #38 on: 21 Oct 2007, 01:06 »

So, only straight characters are allowed to be celibate? Gay characters have to be open and constantly in relationships so they can make a statement and progress some cause?

I've actually assumed he was gay ever since I read book seven. She didn't explicitly say it, but it's there. If Grindelwald had been a woman, everyone would've immediately assumed they had a deeper relationship without it being stated too. She wrote Dumbledore like any other character. How terrible and unprogressive of her!
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2007, 01:15 by Ozymandias »
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #39 on: 21 Oct 2007, 03:27 »

Most people aren't uncomfortable with the idea of straight character with sexuality, if not an active sex life. Oftentimes they expect one. But a lot of people are made uncomfortable by the idea of a sexual gay character, and it's safe to assume that most gay people aren't celibate, and are sexual in some way. Using a celibate character doesn't address anyone's issues with gay sex or even the idea of a homosexual relationship in any way, it avoids all that, and thus you have characters who just happen to be gay, the way you might happen to have, say, run track in high school. It's a fact about you, but it has no real bearing on who you are as a person. That seems to be the case with Dumbledore. He's a noble, good character who happens to be gay. Great, that's fine. What he isn't is a noble, good character who has sex, wants to have sex with other men, or finds other men attractive. And thus even though Dumbledore's a gay character, nobody's forced to confront any prejudices they might have towards gay people in general by empathizing with him, although his fatherly relationship with Harry might help to prevent the common misconception that gay men are somehow sexually interested in male children and teens as a matter of course, which is certainly something worth pursuing.

I don't really have any problem with the character per se, but I find it a little dubious to think that any of this seriously addresses the problem of intolerance. I hope that makes sense.
« Last Edit: 21 Oct 2007, 03:56 by Kid van Pervert »
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #40 on: 21 Oct 2007, 03:43 »

One of my friends asked me if I thought maybe this is why Dumbledore was so interested in Harry. I'm now more scared of my friends.

This was actually suggested in DH, when Rita Skeeta was giving subtle hints at her book.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #41 on: 21 Oct 2007, 03:53 »

Woah wait a minute I thought this gay bomb technology was still decades away.

Sign me up as an enemy combatant.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #42 on: 21 Oct 2007, 04:06 »

As much as I agree that homosexuals aren't all "HAY WUTS UP LETS HAS A SEX," I bet it would be *brilliant* to shag a wizard. Magical, if you will.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #43 on: 21 Oct 2007, 08:11 »



?
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #44 on: 21 Oct 2007, 10:39 »

To me, HDM surpasses HP in pretty much every way. I think I read most of HDM (if not all) before I read HP and I guess I never really compared the two for some reason. Looking at them side by side now, however, I think it's pretty astounding how much better the writing of HDM is compared to that of HP. The plot is a hell of a lot more mature and interesting (not to mention original), the characters are more engaging ect. I think it's unfortunate that HDM didn't take off like HP did because it really is an excellent series.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #45 on: 21 Oct 2007, 16:03 »

I hate to say it, but it probably will once the movie comes out. That always happens. Kind of annoying really.

I always thought of Dumbledore as somewhat asexual, so him having an unrequited love of another guy doesn't bother me. The books kind of described him as flamboyant (the suit he wore when he first met Voldie, etc), even for a wizard, so hey, it works. And Grindelwald really makes sense, seeing as they'd been so close and almost intellectually equal.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #46 on: 21 Oct 2007, 18:33 »

I seriously hope that there will be some good (GOOD! not trashy) Young!Dumbledore/Young!Grindewald fanfiction to come out of this... I had an idea in my head, but I think I might just let it go... I have to much other crap to do.
As for the whole "thing", I'm glad that she had this idea of Dumbledore's past in her head, and that he was gay as a part of it. I am wondering if it something that was known in the wizarding world, or if he rose to greatness in "hiding". There are just a bunch more unanswered questions now. Damn you, Rowling.
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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #47 on: 21 Oct 2007, 21:49 »

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #48 on: 22 Oct 2007, 00:38 »

I seriously hope that there will be some good (GOOD! not trashy) Young!Dumbledore/Young!Grindewald fanfiction to come out of this

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Re: Rowling drops the gay bomb
« Reply #49 on: 22 Oct 2007, 06:47 »

I don't really have any problem with the character per se, but I find it a little dubious to think that any of this seriously addresses the problem of intolerance. I hope that makes sense.

she wrote a novel, not a gay-rights tract.  just because a character is gay doesn't mean the author needs to make a statement about all homosexuals.
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