J. K. Rowling announced yesterday to a packed audience at Carnegie Hall that Dumbledore, in her view, is gay. I never reached the level of obsession with Harry Potter that many others achieved so while I did spend many hours wondering if Dumbledore was dead I can’t say I cared if he was gay or not. He’s a great character and it just really doesn’t matter to the story.
What did upset me was when I logged onto facebook and found a group called “Despite His Sexual Prefereces, Dumbledore Still Rocks.” To be fair, this group was one among many other groups like “Dumbledore- the best gay man there ever was.” and lots of other groups that are very pleased with the announcement. But that first group got me wondering, why does anyone need to like him in spite of the fact that he is gay. Why does sexual preference have any bearing on whether or not Dumbledore rocks (we all know he rocks)? Why, for that matter, does it have bearing on whether or not anyone rocks?
I don’t think it should.
I admire Rowling for “outing” Dumbledore, even though it was after the series had ended and well after his significant contributions to the series were over. Rowling, in the article I linked to above, went on to say that she always thought of her books as an extended argument for tolerance, an argument well worth making.