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Jens
2007-Oct-23, 02:28 AM
Just a short rant, but despite what whatever her name is said, Dumbledore isn't gay. In fact, he isn't straight either. He's not even a person! He's just a name in a silly book.

Of course, I'm not ranting against the author. Just against the media for actually printing this.

TheOncomingStorm
2007-Oct-23, 02:31 AM
First I would like to say some one has way too much time on their hands wondering if a fictional character is gay. Let us extend to puppets, teletubies and cartoon characters.

Serenitude
2007-Oct-23, 02:34 AM
I'm glad she said that. Having a mentor and hero, someone to be respected, who, incidentally happens to be gay, is a symbol of tolerance taught to kids who all too often think "fag" or "homo" is derogatory term appropriate to be used on youtube.

I'm glad she announced that, myself. I don't like the controversy, though :(

phaishazamkhan
2007-Oct-23, 02:39 AM
One: I'd rather have acceptance than tolerance. You tolerate a screaming baby on an airplane. You accept a human being.
Two: Hagrid/Dumbledore plz
Three: These kids nowadays! Stop foolin' around in my beans!

Jens
2007-Oct-23, 02:42 AM
I'm glad she said that. Having a mentor and hero, someone to be respected, who, incidentally happens to be gay, is a symbol of tolerance taught to kids who all too often think "fag" or "homo" is derogatory term appropriate to be used on youtube.

Sure, I agree there. So I didn't mean to criticize the author. Just the fact that the newspapers report this like it is a real person.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-23, 02:57 AM
Why not, they report on Celebrities like they're real people ;)

Fortunate
2007-Oct-23, 03:24 AM
Good for Rowling! An expression of love and kindness. An act of integrity and courage.

Gillianren
2007-Oct-23, 03:28 AM
Fictional characters have attributes just like real people do. Sure, they're made up, but that doesn't mean they aren't part of the character. Therefore, if J. K. Rowling says Dumbledore was gay, he was; it is an attribute of his character. (Was, I suppose.) It isn't real, but it's still part of the character.

Second . . . yeah, good for her. What I find most delightful about the whole thing is how the question that sparked the discussion in the first place was phrased and answered. Did Dumbledore ever find true love? Love. Not just sex.

Jens
2007-Oct-23, 03:32 AM
Why not, they report on Celebrities like they're real people ;)

I know you meant that only half seriously, but it's really totally different. Celebrities are real people. The question there is about newsworthiness. Does it matter what Britney did to her hair? But with Dumbledore it's totally different. It's talking about a really non-existent person. Suppose I write in a newspaper, "the planet Gluga in the Gugu star system has exploded!" It's a lie because there is no such star. The same would be true if the I wrote in a newspaper that the Death Star had been destroyed. And similarly, it's a lie to say that Dumbledore is gay because he doesn't even exist. Well, he does exist as a fictional character, I suppose. But then again, I think they have to be careful. If you write, "latest James Bond film set in Greece," that's fine, but if you write, "James Bond falls in love with Greek girl," that's wrong because James Bond (the fictional character) can't fall in love with people. "He" has no emotions.

Jens
2007-Oct-23, 03:33 AM
First I would like to say some one has way too much time on their hands wondering if a fictional character is gay.

I suppose the same could be said about my posting to complain about it. :)

Noclevername
2007-Oct-23, 03:36 AM
Okay, so the headline really should be worded "Rowling puts gay character in popular series".

Count Zero
2007-Oct-23, 03:49 AM
it's a lie to say that Dumbledore is gay because he doesn't even exist. Well, he does exist as a fictional character, I suppose. But then again, I think they have to be careful. If you write, "latest James Bond film set in Greece," that's fine, but if you write, "James Bond falls in love with Greek girl," that's wrong because James Bond (the fictional character) can't fall in love with people. "He" has no emotions.

Nonsense! That's like saying, "Harry Potter does not wear glasses. He doesn't exist, therefore he cannot wear glasses."

I don't have a problem with the publicity this is getting, either. Fiction and legend throughout history has featured non-existent characters who are role models or challenge our beliefs or simply act as examples (for better or for worse). I think that taking a fictional character and imbuing him with a controversial trait is news-worthy, because it encourages a wide audience to think about the issue and perhaps modify their prejudices.

Delvo
2007-Oct-23, 03:50 AM
Okay, so the headline really should be worded "Rowling puts gay character in popular series".The character was in the books & movies all along. She's just now saying he was also homosexual all that time, too, and the rest of us didn't know it.

mike alexander
2007-Oct-23, 03:57 AM
Damn, he seemed so... so... ordinary, you know?

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-23, 04:16 AM
Alas, earwax

PS: It just occurred to me that "Alas, earwax" was probably just "A lass are whack"

Neverfly
2007-Oct-23, 05:03 AM
Damn, he seemed so... so... ordinary, you know?

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/froehlich/a065.gif

TheOncomingStorm
2007-Oct-23, 05:27 AM
I suppose the same could be said about my posting to complain about it. :)
I did't know it was Rowling herself that said he was gay.

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 08:05 AM
My only beef with this is the issue of authorial intent.

If an author wants to make her character gay, that's fine.

But if the character's sexuality is not actually mentioned in the text - if indeed it's only afterwards, at a press conference, that the author announces it - then it doesn't really mean very much, does it?

As I see it, JKR might have envisaged Dumbledore as being gay, but that is not something the reader gets from reading the books.

Maksutov
2007-Oct-23, 08:07 AM
As Scottie might have said, "Anything to keep the enterprise running!" (and making money).

Jens
2007-Oct-23, 08:14 AM
And regarding responsible journalism, did they check these facts with Dumbledore himself? I imagine that he's comfortable with his sexuality, but we all know that there are people in high positions, among them perhaps US senators, who are sensitive about this. It could be libel if it's not true, but just stated by Rowling as such.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-23, 08:17 AM
Rowling invented the character. She assigned his traits.

Dumbledore is gay.

Interestingly enough, is her own "act" of surprise at the revelation(albeit that it came sooner to her than others).

Makes one curious about what exists in the recesses of her mind that would inspire gayness in her major character that she wasn't fully aware of at first:think:

Serenitude
2007-Oct-23, 08:21 AM
Maybe she thought it would reduce him to token status to flaunt it, or to draw outright attention to it, making him odd somehow. I like that's it's incidental to his status in the book, and it doesn't define him. I think it's just the right fit.

BTW: phaishazamkhan hit the nail on the head. I meant acceptance as he/she defines it, and not merely tolerance. Poor choice of words on my part, but meant as phais defines it. Good point there ;)

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 09:40 AM
Maybe she thought it would reduce him to token status to flaunt it, or to draw outright attention to it, making him odd somehow. I like that's it's incidental to his status in the book, and it doesn't define him. I think it's just the right fit.

I don't think you can use the word "incidental" when it's not mentioned at all. To anyone who has only read the books and has not listened to any of the related publicity, the only thing you can say about Dumbledore's sexuality is that it is unstated.

As to flaunting it - well, there are ways of getting it in the text without being too obvious. I once read a book which had a minor character called Chris. She was mentioned once, in passing, early on, just so that we're made aware that she's a Christine rather than a Christopher. Then about 100 pages later we're told that the main female character dated Chris for a while. We're not "reminded" that Chris is also female, but it is made clear that it's the same Chris.

You could argue that this is a gimmick, and it probably is. But those who want to know the main character's sexuality have definite confirmation, whereas those who aren't interested probably won't notice.


Rowling invented the character. She assigned his traits.

Dumbledore is gay.
The point I am trying to make - and which I think you are trying to sidestep - is that when a book has been published, it takes on an independent life of its own.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-23, 10:12 AM
(snip)
The point I am trying to make - and which I think you are trying to sidestep - is that when a book has been published, it takes on an independent life of its own.

Ok, maybe I'm just in a bad mood. I don't know.

But that sidestep comment was utter garbage.
Considering that I did not quote you...

Considering that you cannot read my mind...

And considering that you seem to be applying some devious tactics that simply do not apply...

Keep it to yourself. I'm not sidestepping anything.

The author wrote the books. The author defines the characters.

The reader may envision them differently. Oh well. Ultimately the story will continue to follow the authors definition.

I really don't give a damn about Harry Potter, Dumbledore or the really cheesy story, whether they are gay, bi, straight or pink polkadotted giraffes makes no difference to me.

So don't accuse me of sidestepping anything.

Jens
2007-Oct-23, 10:32 AM
Nonsense! That's like saying, "Harry Potter does not wear glasses. He doesn't exist, therefore he cannot wear glasses."


Actually, he doesn't, and he can't. Try ordering a pair and see if you can fit it on him. You can't, because he doesn't exist.

But that's not the real issue. What I am getting at is that the media should not report as if he existed. If a newspaper wrote an article saying, "Harry Potter's eyesight worsened and he had to get a new prescription for his glasses," I'd take issue with that.

If the media wants to say, "Rowlings says her character so-and-so was gay," that's fine, but if you say "Dumbledore is gay," that's silly because he doesn't exist.

Sorry if it's a bit pedantic, but there it is. I believe the media should not report on fictional things as if they were real.

Sticks
2007-Oct-23, 10:35 AM
Apart from the witchcraft thing, I can now see that JK has given those in certain religious circles more ammunition to speak out against it. Has anyone across the pond from such areas bleated about this news and organised more book burnings.

Winter is drawing in and we need something to keep warm once we have burned the books about tax law (Day after Tomorrow reference )

Moose
2007-Oct-23, 10:35 AM
Seems a bit late in the series to be outting the orientation of a major character. Dumbledore never made an issue of it. I don't really see why we should either.

Tog
2007-Oct-23, 10:40 AM
Makes one curious about what exists in the recesses of her mind that would inspire gayness in her major character that she wasn't fully aware of at first:think:

A while back I asked a question on here about how people write. What steps, how much planning for the the story and so on. I also asked the same question on a different site, that was made up primarily of video game players that spent a lot of time in the role play aspects and wrote a great deal of fan fiction for the game. The differences between the BAUT people that responded and the responders on the other site were almost exactly opposite.

What the gamers said is that they tend to have the basic story in mind from the start, and if a new character is involved, they know the basics about them. The personalities tend to develop over time. One said that he doesn't write the stories as much as he simply narrates what happens, and that some characters practically write themselves. In much of my own writing, I can relate to this. I have many characters who end up doing things I never expected. I ended up with a romance that hadn't even occurred to me until I was actually writing the words. It didn't change anything really, but it added to the overall story. I have another that is prone to long, very confrontational, angry speeches, but I can't plan them before they come out. I also can't seem to have any other character pull them off.

I think it can be the same thing in this case. She may not have intended him to be gay, but as the story went on, and his character developed, it's something that became a part of him.

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 10:55 AM
So don't accuse me of sidestepping anything.
Don't accuse me of accusing you. Reread my post and give careful attention to the word "think".

I meant, "I think you are ignoring a point I made in my earlier post." (Which is of course something you are perfectly entitled to do.)

I have no idea why that got the angry reaction.

I have no idea why you are contributing such vehement posts to a thread about Dumbledore when you claim to care nothing about the Harry Potter books.

I couldn't make much sense of the rest of the post either - such as when I "seem to be applying some devious tactics that simply do not apply".

Hope the mood improves. (Seriously. I don't want to see either of us warned or banned over a strange temper flare.)

Neverfly
2007-Oct-23, 11:13 AM
Don't accuse me of accusing you.
Huh? How could I argue with such perfect logic?

Reread my post and give careful attention to the word "think".
I read it well enough the first two times I read it.
I saw you used the word "think." Big whoop. You are still wrong. Deal with it.

I meant, "I think you are ignoring a point I made in my earlier post." (Which is of course something you are perfectly entitled to do.)
Considering that I did not quote you. (deja Vu?)

I didn't even read your earlier post.
I had to scroll up and see if you had even posted in this thread before I commented in my last post about me not having quoted you.

I have no idea why that got the angry reaction.
I'll spell it out for you.

You assumed, jumped to conclusions and accused me (see your first line in your last post? Hmmm..) of devious sidestepping.

It is not sidestepping for me to point out that the author of a novel is the ultimate authority on that novel. Sure readers may want to envision things differently. Makes little or no difference to the authors intent, nor their continued writing of sequels.

I have no idea why you are contributing such vehement posts to a thread about Dumbledore when you claim to care nothing about the Harry Potter books.
I have delivered ONE angry post(about to be two when I hit submit) directly purely at you.
Were you trying to imply that I have personal feelings on the matter that I'm trying to hide?
I'm not gay, nor curious, nor have any care about Dumbledores sexuality. Hey, at least I asked instead of assuming though right?
Like I said. I'm in a bad mood already. And your little snide remark about "sidestepping" your point was ridiculous.


I couldn't make much sense of the rest of the post either - such as when I "seem to be applying some devious tactics that simply do not apply".
Sidestepping?

Hope the mood improves. (Seriously. I don't want to see either of us warned or banned over a strange temper flare.)

It isn't likely to. Nor is your strange vehement defensive reaction facilitating it.

I cannot spell it out for you any simpler.

If you got a misimpression- Fine.
If you thought I was responding to your post, know that I didn't read it until after your response at me.

My bad mood only encouraged what would have been a sharp reaction out of me anyway.

I REALLY don't like being accused of mysterious ulterior motives that I simply don't have.
Accusing me of sidesteping the issue, which the issue seems to be an earlier post of yours that I didn't read, is to accuse me of using devious tactics to confuse or lead the reader away from the issue at hand.

I dunno. I'm not that devious. I wish I was. I might be able to avoid a lotta heartaches if I was.

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 11:30 AM
Goodbye Neverfly.

Count Zero
2007-Oct-23, 11:49 AM
Sorry if it's a bit pedantic, but there it is. I believe the media should not report on fictional things as if they were real.

In this case, they didn't. None of the articles I read said that Dumbledore was anything other than a character in Rowling's books. Call me old-fashioned, but I base the meaning of an article on its content rather than on its attention-getting headline.

R.A.F.
2007-Oct-23, 12:24 PM
Damn, he seemed so... so... ordinary, you know?

Gay people are ordinary.

mickal555
2007-Oct-23, 12:36 PM
Won't the yaoi fangirls be happy at this...

Possible Spoiler:
Also this does actually make something in the last book make a little more sense, it's not completly random.

Sticks
2007-Oct-23, 12:46 PM
Ding Ding

Seconds out round two


Really is this agro about a ficticious character really warranted the pair of you?

Doodler
2007-Oct-23, 01:10 PM
Seems a bit late in the series to be outting the orientation of a major character. Dumbledore never made an issue of it. I don't really see why we should either.

Ding-ding-ding. We have a winner.

The truth is, you could play up that conflict between Dumbledore and whatshisname in a few different ways, without homosexuality, and still have their conflict be perfectly plausible in the books.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-23, 01:24 PM
My apologies to Paul Beardsley. Whether the statement made was warranted of questioning or a minor rebuke, it certainly didn't require a major temper tantrum.

Click Ticker
2007-Oct-23, 03:12 PM
Marketing.

You've got a series of books that put out their final novel not too long ago. Sales have slowed down. Now you invent a controversial aspect for a character in the series that will trigger a bunch of buyers* who may never have bought into the books during their initial run. Now they'll read through the novels and say, "Ooh - I get it. It's so obvious!"

My guess is she never even thought about the sexuality of the character in question when she wrote the stories. Perhaps she had a meeting with her marketing guru's and came up with an idea to fire up sales again. And no - I'm not pretending the series was struggling by any means - but even monopolies are always working on ways to sell a few more units.

Regarding tolerance vs. acceptance. Screaming babies on airplanes are human too. Why are they only worthy of tolerance and not acceptance?

* And no - I don't mean just gay people. I mean people who might be a bit more socially motivated than interested in the core story of the fictitious series.

Donnie B.
2007-Oct-23, 03:14 PM
Rowling's statement about Dumbledore came during a Q&A session with fans. The question was posed about the character as though he were real (and I paraphrase): Given his emphasis on the power of love, did Dumbledore ever find love himself?

The answer was given in a subtly different way: "I always thought of him as gay."

Note that Rowling makes two points here: the orientation of the character was not some recent change. She always thought of him that way. However, as the Harry Potter series is intended for young readers, it contains no explicit sex and its romantic content is on the handholding-and-smooching level. So the character's orientation was not made explicit in the books.

Second, Rowling is affirming that Dumbledore is a character of her own creation, not some "real" person in any sense.

So, to the original poster: if you have a problem with the way the story has been reported, take it up with the news media, not Rowling. And to those who say it's some sort of publicity stunt, I disagree. The author was responding in a straightforward way to a straightforward question.

I do agree that, within the framework of the books themselves, the "outing" is only modestly relevant. But this series long ago took on a life of its own that extends far beyond the seven books. Just drop by any of the zillions of fan sites and that becomes blatantly obvious. HP is a cultural phenomenon to such a degree that this revelation is more than justified as serious news, and could even affect some hearts and minds in the real world.

Click Ticker
2007-Oct-23, 03:34 PM
Rowling's statement about Dumbledore came during a Q&A session with fans. The question was posed about the character as though he were real (and I paraphrase): Given his emphasis on the power of love, did Dumbledore ever find love himself?

The answer was given in a subtly different way: "I always thought of him as gay."

Still seems like an odd answer. The questions is, "Did Dumbledore ever find love himself?" Isn't that kind of a yes or no question and not a, "I always thought of him as gay." question? How does that statement answer the question posed. I would hope her full answer was more complete and I just haven't seen it yet - because the answer given doesn't address the question raised.

Delvo
2007-Oct-23, 04:01 PM
Still seems like an odd answer... How does that statement answer the question posedIt was just the first sentence of what would have, if written, made a paragraph or two. She talked about a particular man in Dumbledore's life and how events that they were both involved in conspired to disappoint Dumbledore and keep them apart.

BTW, not to deflate any silly paranoid conspiracy nonsense... OK, ya, actually it is to do just that... but this is not a "new" thing at all. When they were making one of the movies that have already been made and released, a screenplay writer added a female romantic partner for Dumbledore who wasn't in the books. Rowling made them take her back out before filming and told the movie makers at the time that this was one reason why.

Michael Noonan
2007-Oct-23, 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by Moose
Seems a bit late in the series to be outting the orientation of a major character. Dumbledore never made an issue of it. I don't really see why we should either.
Ding-ding-ding. We have a winner.

The truth is, you could play up that conflict between Dumbledore and whatshisname in a few different ways, without homosexuality, and still have their conflict be perfectly plausible in the books.

"Dumbledore never made an issue of it" as Moose said and that is how so many things are in the real world. Not every straight conversation is about love life nor every gay conversation. It is about what in this case a fictional character does and not his love life.

Books have a life of their own and in so many other areas are kept true to the intentions of the author so why is this any different? Look at the detail that went into the Lord of the Rings to ensure literary accuracy was kept. Or when the movie version of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" was made, there they were extremely fortunate and had the author on hand to get the story as close to the intent of D. Adams as possible.

If Rowling felt that way about Dumbledore then that is how she felt about Dumbledore. Just because it doesn't please everyone has nothing to do with what the author felt about the character or intended him to do.

Lianachan
2007-Oct-23, 04:55 PM
It's not at all relevant, so her mentioning it at all is totally unneccessary. Why's she bothering to mention it now, anyway? Looks very much like she's saying it just for the sake if it. Positive discrimination is still discrimination - poor show, JK.

Jerry
2007-Oct-23, 06:24 PM
Rowling closed the series and it is too late for her to assign character attributes. She may have wanted Dumbledwarf to be gay, but due to factors of [courage/savy/forsight/financial imparatives/fear of censors/parental control], she did not introduce a gay character into a primary school book. Nobody took Doubledwarp to bed. Like the rest of us, she can now only speculate. Cynically speaking, calling a character gay after every penny has been squeezed out of the sanitized market is lame.

RalofTyr
2007-Oct-23, 06:31 PM
Lame hate-speech joke removed by moderator

Serenitude
2007-Oct-23, 06:44 PM
It's not at all relevant, so her mentioning it at all is totally unneccessary. Why's she bothering to mention it now, anyway? Looks very much like she's saying it just for the sake if it. Positive discrimination is still discrimination - poor show, JK.

Because she was finally asked ;)

Ral of Tyr - I'm going to ask you, in a freindly way, for clarification of your statement before I take moderator action.

Lianachan
2007-Oct-23, 06:50 PM
Because she was finally asked ;)

Ral of Tyr - I'm going to ask you, in a freindly way, for clarification of your statement before I take moderator action.

She would have been better off saying it's irrelevant, IMO. I stand by my original "poor show" statement. By the way, I've not read any of the books and have no interest in them whatsoever, so I'm just discussing the general principle here.

Fazor
2007-Oct-23, 06:51 PM
I'll just say that I don't like the announcement simply because there was little (or in my opinion no) indication of it in the books. I mean, saying "He shows that a gay character can be respected and looked up to regardless of his sexual preference" is absolutely meaningless if no one knew the preference at the time the "looked up to him".

It's just a cheap ploy, in my opinion. No different than if DC comics came out and said, "Guess what? Batman's really gay. And since kids like batman, this will help gay acceptance!" :shrugs:

Just say'n if she wanted him to be gay, state it in the book, not at a public speaking event months and months after the final one is released.

Serenitude
2007-Oct-23, 06:59 PM
I see it in the opposite way. "Gay" and it's associated derogatory words are a regular part of youth insult culture. Having them become mentally close to a character, care about him, respect him, etc... and then only reveal he's gay after the conclusion of the book is a masterstroke. It will make them re-evaluate their thoughts on the entire situation, hopefully, in light of their feelings about Dumble. "Gay" might not be such a bad thing, if their beloved Dumble was ;) I think one of the great points, which fits in nicely with the criticism, is that being gay didn't make him any different than any other character. He wasn't Big Gay Al. That you couldn't peg him for Hollywood stereotypical gay is a good thing, IMO.

Fazor
2007-Oct-23, 07:13 PM
Well, she could have at least had him wear an ascot (http://www.bautforum.com/1095105-post85.html), so there was some indication that she had it planned from the get-go, and not something she decided to do as a stunt after the fact.

SeanF
2007-Oct-23, 07:15 PM
Not every straight conversation is about love life nor every gay conversation.
I'm not sure I agree with this statement, but I may just not understand what you're trying to say.

If a hypothetical conversation is not about "love life," then what would make it "straight" or "gay"?

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 07:27 PM
I see it in the opposite way. "Gay" and it's associated derogatory words are a regular part of youth insult culture. Having them become mentally close to a character, care about him, respect him, etc... and then only reveal he's gay after the conclusion of the book is a masterstroke.
Huh? We are talking about a series of seven books. Long books, mostly. A reveal in book seven would have been a masterstroke - six whole books to get close to a character, and then learn he's gay in the final volume.

A crucial revelation after the series has finished is just... lame. It's not a masterstroke, it's more like a "sorry I forgot your birthday" card or Agatha Christie saying, "Okay, so I forgot to reveal whodunnit in the book, but I can tell you now it was the butler," or Patrick McGoohan saying in 2007, "Yeah, the whole point of The Prisoner was..."

Not that I think it was intended as a revelation, or a marketing ploy, or anything like that. As I see it, JKR simply mentioned what was on her mind when she created the character. It's no different to any other author saying something like, "I had Harrison Ford in mind when I was writing about Captain Jenkins." That sort of thing is interesting because it gives one insight into the thought processes of the author at the time of writing, but it has no other significance if the crucial details are not mentioned in the text.

Gillianren
2007-Oct-23, 07:28 PM
Just say'n if she wanted him to be gay, state it in the book, not at a public speaking event months and months after the final one is released.

I know lots of things about my characters that never make it into the stories. Often, it's because there's no relevant point of the story in which to introduce the information. When would Harry, who admits he never actually knew anything about Dumbledore as a person, have found out that Dumbledore was gay? Since Dumbledore wasn't in a relationship, nor had he been for Harry's entire life, he wouldn't've. And we are being told the story from Harry's perspective.

Also, in my experience, she probably didn't "want" Dumbledore to be gay; he just was. Characters develop in ways I never intend. One of my characters is probably bi. She's never, in the course of the story, been involved with anything but men, but when I stop and think about her, that piece of information surfaces even though I never made that decision myself. Stephen King has frequently written that the same sort of thing happens to him, so I know it isn't just me. I don't know that J. K. Rowling has that experience, but reading about writing and writers teaches me that it's not uncommon.

It came up now because someone asked the question. If someone had asked the question five years ago, it probably would have come up then, though of course I cannot say for sure, not being J. K. Rowling and all. And it does make certain aspects of Book Seven make a little more sense. Those aspects are not dependent on Dumbledore's being gay, as has been mentioned, but it is one possible explanation for certain things.

Fazor
2007-Oct-23, 07:34 PM
All good points Gillian; but from the prospect of a fan, it's hard not to feel "tricked". Not that it would have had any bearing on my opinion of him thoughout the story.

But if it's like you said, and it's just an aspect of the character as he developed in her mind, then why is it such a huge stride for gay rights as the media was making it out to be? Wouldn't that be more of a typical blow to it, as JK Rowlings knew her character was gay, but didn't want to put it in the book?

And as for no chance to develop it; what about the time in his youth spent with (what's his name, the "bad influence")? Would that not have been a perfect time to at least hint at some kind of a love interest? Reciprical or unrequited, that was the chance she had right there. I'm not saying you need some graphic Brokeback Moutain scene in the middle of a children's book, but how hard would it have been to have some subtle hints?

To me it just comes off more as a case of her not having an answer to the posed question, and she just decides off the cuff that he's gay. That's the part I have issue with...and it certianly might not have been the case. It just really sounds like it was, if you ask me. Which you didn't. So I'll stop typing. :)

Serenitude
2007-Oct-23, 07:51 PM
I respect and understand you point, Paul, and I'm not saying it couldn't have been done better. Maybe so. Maybe not. I'm not sure that any in-book revelation wouldn't have taken away from the story intended. It would have overshadowed anything she could have otherwise written, possibly. I just applaud the point she made.

Click Ticker
2007-Oct-23, 07:57 PM
It came up now because someone asked the question. If someone had asked the question five years ago, it probably would have come up then, though of course I cannot say for sure, not being J. K. Rowling and all.

From what I've seen in this thread - nobody asked his orientation. They asked if he had found love. That seems like a yes or no questions, not an orientation question. After reading the article at CNN and her comment:


Not everyone likes her work, Rowling said, likely referring to Christian groups that have alleged the books promote witchcraft. Her news about Dumbledore, she said, will give them one more reason.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/10/20/harry.potter.ap/index.html

All the anti-potter publicity sold a lot of books. Should sell a lot more now.

I just wish I could find the full quote in context. So far all the media is zeroed in on that one line. That line by itself seems like an attempt to fire up renewed media interest in the series.

Tog
2007-Oct-23, 08:13 PM
I just wish I could find the full quote in context. So far all the media is zeroed in on that one line. That line by itself seems like an attempt to fire up renewed media interest in the series.

Here you go, a transcript (http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/10/20/j-k-rowling-at-carnegie-hall-reveals-dumbledore-is-gay-neville-marries-hannah-abbott-and-scores-more) of the event.

Click Ticker
2007-Oct-23, 08:17 PM
Here you go, a transcript (http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/10/20/j-k-rowling-at-carnegie-hall-reveals-dumbledore-is-gay-neville-marries-hannah-abbott-and-scores-more) of the event.

Work hath forbade it. Can you post the relevent quote? I would be much obliged.

Tog
2007-Oct-23, 08:25 PM
From the above link:


Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?
My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] ... Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!" [laughter] If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!

Click Ticker
2007-Oct-23, 08:38 PM
Thanks for posting the complete quote. Not sure that it changes my opinion any - but it's always better to read things in context. Now the real question - was I even open to having my opinion changed anyway!?!

Paul Beardsley
2007-Oct-23, 08:53 PM
I think the full quote makes it very clear that she was doing what every good author does - she was metaphorically painting beyond the canvas.

In general, good authors have imagined the whole town, even if they've only written about a single street.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-23, 09:12 PM
It didn't have any impact on the events of the stories, so it wasn't included. Throwing in a scene just to show someone's sexual preference seems like a needless waste of paper, unless there's an in-story reason why that matters.

Fortunate
2007-Oct-23, 09:51 PM
J.K. Rowling on Dumbledore Revelation:
"I'm Not Kidding" (http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/10/23/j-k-rowling-on-dumbledore-revelation-i-m-not-kidding)

tofu
2007-Oct-23, 10:03 PM
But if the character's sexuality is not actually mentioned in the text - if indeed it's only afterwards, at a press conference, that the author announces it - then it doesn't really mean very much, does it?

That's what I can't figure out. Sexual orientation is as much a part of the story as blood type. It doesn't matter at all. So I just don't get why she would make a big deal of announcing it, like it had been some great mystery, or like it's such a big deal.

"ATTENTION EVERYONE, DUMBLEDORE IS ALLERGIC TO SHELLFISH"

So what? Who cares? This strikes me as something of an attention-whoring move on her part. She just wanted to generate some controversy. It'd be completely different if she had worked it into the story somehow. Instead, she did it at a press conference. It's just really weird.

tofu
2007-Oct-23, 10:04 PM
In general, good authors have imagined the whole town, even if they've only written about a single street.

eh, when you put it that way, it makes a lot of sense.

Kelfazin
2007-Oct-23, 10:10 PM
The thing to remember here is that JKR didn't call a press conferance to announce Dumbledore was gay. She was answering a question. As has been pointed out above, the question was one that only needed a yes or no answer, so let's see how that would go:

Guy in audience: Did Dumbeldore ever find love?
JKR: Yes
Entire audience: ohhhh

Do you think the questions would have ended there if she had "simply answered yes or no"? No of course not, the next question would have been "With whom did he find true love?" The only answer to this would be the name of the male character anyway. No matter what, asking about Dumbledores love life would have invariably ended up with the same revelation. She always considered him gay while she was writing him, nothing else matters.

As to the OP and the comments regarding fictional characters in the news, you have to give some leeway for social culture. HP is a global phenomenon. Millions and millions of people absolutely love the books and relate to the characters. To them, this really is news. So the journalist took a little license with the headline...not that big a deal. Every single person that would read the article knows the character is fictional. I don't see the problem.

TheOncomingStorm
2007-Oct-23, 10:18 PM
At leat we did finf out by him getting caught in an airport bathroom stall.:)

antoniseb
2007-Oct-23, 10:21 PM
This thread has been on the edge (or worse). davidlpf's political comment isn't strictly what set me off here. I'm shutting down this thread, and if anyone has something new, different, and illuminating to add, you can ask any moderator to open it again.

No warnings