Dumbledore Comes Out

Posted by Censor Librorum on Oct 26, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Are all great wizards gay? First Ian McKellen as Gandalf, and now author J. K. Rowling’s revelation that the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore is gay.

The British author stunned her fans at Carnegie Hall last Friday night when she answered a young fan’s question about Dumbledore by saying he was gay and had been in love with rival wizard Grindelwald.

“Jo Rowling calling any Harry Potter character gay would make wonderful strides in tolerance towards homosexuals,” said a webmaster of a fan site. “By dubbing someone so respected, so talented and so kind, as someone who also happens to be homosexual, she’s reinforcing the idea of a person’s gayness is not something of which they should be ashamed.”

In the Harry Potter series Gellert Grindelwald was a dark wizard of great power. 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?”

Potter readers had speculated about Dumbledore, noting that he had 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.”

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