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J.K. Rowling Responds Appropriately To Fan Who ‘Can’t See Dumbledore As Being Gay’

A few years back, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed to fans during a Q&A session that Hogwarts’ beloved headmaster Dumbledore was, in fact, a gay man. Most of Potter fandom just accepted this and moved on. After all, if you’re invested in a world where there’s magic and Death Eaters and all other kids of crazy things going on, the idea of the kind of diversity that actually exists in the real world shouldn’t be to hard to wrap your brain around. Nevertheless, some fans just can’t bring themselves to accept that Harry’s kindly old mentor just isn’t straight. One of Rowling’s fans recently took to Twitter to tell the author that when it comes to old Albus and his sexual orientation, “I can’t see him in that way.” Rowling then gave the best response possible, stating:

Eventually, the fan in question conceded to the all mighty Rowling’s direct way of telling it like it is, and said, “Amazing answer… Yes you are absolutely right. Such an inspiration!!!” (Besides, she should have totally been able to tell that Dumbledore was what we in the LGBT community refer to as a “Polar Bear.”)

This isn’t the first time that Rowling has had to school an opinionated homophobe on her Twitter page. Back in September of last year, a disgruntled fan wrote “Once u revealed Dumbledore was homosexual I stopped being a fan. Nice how u blindsided us with that one. Enjoy your billion $” To that “fan”, Rowling responded “I advise you to start following [anti-LGBT Scottish politician] Brian Souter at once. He’s much more your kind of person.”  

[HT: The Gaily Grind]

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  1. He is who he is.  What he does & why he does it is what makes Dumbledore special.  As for the gay angle.  I think it gives Dumbledore extra character to go with the loads of character he already has.  I love it!

  2. freddelgado says:

    And that’s how you supposed to use an avada kedavra, Harry.

  3. Nich hustler says:

    As per many comments below. I feel like calling someone a homophobe for expressing an opinion on their interpretation of fiction, especially when they concede seems a little weak. Just my opinion. 

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I love how the author of THIS article calls the twitter tweeter, who makes a NEUTRAL statement about where they stand on the issue of homosexuality, an “opinionated homophobe.” Just because someone says “I just can’t see him this way, (as being gay)” doesn’t mean they are a homophobe. But now that we know of the author’s biases, double standards, and quick to judge tendencies… Yeah, take a seat there, sparky. You’re done.

  5. ed says:

    Dumbledore was gay? Didn’t factor in my Harry Potter readings when he slotted in the wise-elder-mentor role till the talk of Gridlewald. His sexuality was less of a concern as a reader than the inevitable death that I had expected (the part demands it); frankly, the guy from Dennis Potter’s SINGING DETECTIVE replacingRichard Harris in the movies was MORE of a concern: really? The guy with sores is gonna be a wizard, and trade one ‘Potter’ franchise for another??
    As his creator, Rowling’s post-books outing of one of HER characters is something her readers will have to deal with. Wizards, dragons, flying snitches aren’t in her world— but people, snakes and soccer are. And the fact is there are gay people in her “reality”… like in ours. The HARRY POTTER books were made to reflect Rowling saw and imagined.

    Dumbledore is a gay character in HER books.

  6. Trey says:

    Not to stir a pot… However, I find it kind of sad that J.K. Rowling lurks twitter for remarks on her book series. I mean, after all, she is a writer. Shouldn’t she be writing..? At least something more than snarky tweets to her fans. After all, no one knew or assumed anything about Dumbledore’s sexuality until she stated it… Just a thought. 

  7. Dan says:

    ERIC DIAZ might be a homophobe the way this article is poorly written.

  8. Dan says:

    Homophobe? All he said was “I can’t see him in that way.”   It was just an opinion.

  9. Scott Thomson says:

    Your article is factually incorrect, Brian Souter is an homophobic businessman and philanthropist, not a politician. 

  10. I totally see Cedric Diggory as gay because, you know… wishful thinking? 😉 

  11. John says:

    I fail to see how the young woman is a homophobe–does anyone even know what the word means?  Her reaction to the author’s response does not suggest a homophobic tendency.

  12. TheRealTruth says:

    Nerdist is now pushing the agenda of Cultural Marxism?

    Since when is getting fucked in the ass until you shit your intestines out a moral imperative for “Nerds”?

    • Leon says:

      Sorry, who’s getting fucked in the ass until they shit out their intestines? 

      • Carolina says:

        Well…nobody who has common sense. Most people would know when to stop, I would hope. And I doubt someone would be able to hold an erection for that long.

    • Ludophile says:

      Anders Bering Breivik, is that you? I thought that after you killed kids in the name of fighting thi ´s supposed Cultural Marixsm, you were denied internet access in jail. I guess Nrway is excessively forgiving.

  13. Aron West says:

    As Rowling revealed in her detailed “flow chart” for one of the Potter books, there was a lot spinning in that blond head of hers that never made it directly to the page but no doubt colored how she wrote each character. A common thing for any author I’m sure. So while this fact may seem insignificant to shine readers, Dumbledore could, and likely would have come out completely different if Rowling didn’t picture him gay all along. 
    After all, he always did have a flair for the dramatic^^

  14. Matt says:

    The guy announcing to Rowling that he’s no longer a fan is a homophobe.. certainly. Someone wrapping their mind around the sexuality of a character that they (probably) spent years experiencing through books without it being a part of his characterization doesn’t make them a homophobe… just having trouble inputting this new information into the character they probably did not attribute any sexual preferences. Why is it so easy to attribute wrestling with an idea with being specifically “anti”? It’s lazy and a bit sad, if I’m honest.

  15. Kiltedbear says:

    “This isn’t the first time that Rowling has had to school an opinionated homophobe on her Twitter”
    Could I point out that if the person responded to her reply with “Amazing answer… Yes you are absolutely right. Such an inspiration!!!” is NOT a homophobe. Seriously, Nerdist…you can write better than this!

    • brashhulk says:

      Many writers, on Nerdist or otherwise, can write better than this – in the sense that they’re able to be professional in their job and/or craft. However, there are some people who aren’t able to separate their personal feelings and prejudices from their writing – such as the author of this article, Eric Diaz. I’m a staunch LGBT ally and have dozens of gay friends, so I’m well aware of the sometimes instant transformation from seemingly rational person into bitchy queen – and this dude nailed it.

  16. Cyberpvnk says:

    This isn’t any different than Spielberg changing starwars after it was published.  I sex didn’t explicitly happen…in writing than it didn’t happen.

  17. Marv says:

    How is it in any shape or form to attack someone “an opinionated homophobe” in this context? a) He totally accepted and applauded her answer b) Books do rely A LOT on your personal interpretation and imagination. If you imagine a character is a certain way, it’s always hard to see a versions that defers from that. That’s why movie or TV versions are often difficult to deals with. Just because you are a member of the “LGBT community” doesn’t nessarally mean you have to see something like this so aggressively. How about trying to understand this person instead of just throwing him under the bus? Or, even more difficult on the internet: Try not to paint every single comment by everyone ever in a dark context.

  18. George says:

    Who cares where he sticks his wand?Dumbedore is dead and since he had no sex partners in the series! I can only see this as a agenda by rowling to appeal to the youth of our day. 

    • LaLa says:

      Actually, Much of Dumbledore’s past is wrapped up with his relationship with the Wizard Grindelwald (sp?) and this is a huge part of the Final Books in the Potter Series. Rowling coming out later to say Dumbledore is/was gay puts that relationship and many of his choices (some of them considered dubious by others in the wizarding world, of the books) into a different perspective for die-hard fans. 

    • Kellen says:

      It’s pretty clear he had a romantic relationship with grindewald.

  19. MJB says:

    In the fan’s defense, I don’t know if it’s necessarily homophobia. If you’re a straight male, for example, you’re going to project that onto most characters that aren’t explicitly defined differently. It would be like if someone said John McClane was closeted gay in all of the movies. That might be hard to swallow, not because we’re mad that he’s gay, but because it’s just difficult to reconcile.

    I had a friend come out to me as an adult, and I totally supported him, but it was a difficult adjustment to make. I wouldn’t say we really treated him any differently, but there were just a lot of little things that I felt a need to consider, knowing he was gay.

    You form an image of a person, and that image becomes comfortable over time, and when it changes in a significant way, it can be difficult to adjust to.

    And honestly,. some people just were unfortunately brought up either in an environment without any significant gay presence, or were brought up around people who were dogmatically against homosexuality. Is that necessarily their fault? This person on twitter didn’t see, to attack the fact Dumbledore was gay,but just said they couldn’t see him that way.

    I think the point is that the sentiment the tweet expressed was unfortunate, but I don’t know if it was really malicious or even mal-intended.

    • Dogen says:

      Why is someone’s sexuality a significant part of your image of them, such that finding they’re not the same as you requires you to “consider things?” Your friend was gay before he told you and apparently everything was cool enough that he felt comfortable telling you, so whatever was suddenly an issue for you was a problem on your end, not his. That’s homophobia.

      • Vex says:

        Lol, you literally have no idea what you’re talking about. When you find something out about someone that you didn’t know was apart of their character it causes you to question certain things. What if you found out your best friend was a serial killer, but you were completely cool with that person before, same argument, no? I mean why should you feel any differently just because that person enjoys something frowned upon by society? Are they still a cool person even if you found out something extreme like that? What about something less extreme, let’s say for example your friend doesn’t like a certain race of people, but you never knew he/she was a racist. Because you didn’t know and were cool with them before, nothing has changed? Give me a damn break, you don’t have to be homophobic to find such things odd or disconcerting. Let’s take it down a notch and say your friend is a violent person and you didn’t know that before, you’re seriously going to tell me nothing at all changes? What a joke. And don’t even try to tell me it’s completely different, because it’s not. It’s apart of who they are whether it’s sexuality or how violent they are, or even what they like to eat. When you find something out that you weren’t aware of about someone you thought you knew, you view them differently.

        • Leon says:

          Vex, all your examples are negative things (until the end where you pretend its just the same) e.g. if I found out my friend didn’t like pizza I wouldn’t give a shit.

        • Thom says:

          Being gay is not the same as being a serial killer, or being a racist, or being a violent person. Those things are harmful towards others, whereas being gay is something that hurts no one and doesn’t have to be anyone else’s business. Finding out someone is gay is nothing like finding out they are a serial killer; it’s much closer to discovering they like a different food.  So your friend likes falafel and you don’t; that’s ok, you’re never going to have to eat falafel, and they don’t care that you don’t eat falafel and you shouldn’t care that they do eat falafel. Would you feel like you had to reexamine your friendship with someone because of something that has no effect on you, like their food preference? I sure hope not.

      • Nich Hustler says:

        “consider things” doesn’t have to be negative. I might consider that some of the things I did with my friend might now be considered flirting and I would like to make sure not to lead them on. Or maybe that is a non issue as they don’t find me attractive at all. I don’t know, but it’s worth considering. 

        I honestly don’t know the intent of MJB’s “consider tings” but it really doesn’t have to be negative. When I found out a friend was gay I had to consider if it was okay to add that to the list of things we made fun of, as in our friendship circles our custom was to mock everything and take nothing seriously. We had a culture of zero verbal taboo. When we crossed that bridge and it was found he wanted that part of his life included, I had to also consider he might just be saying that to stay as “one of the guys”. Which lead to some very great and informative conversations. 

        A process that took me from being an entirely homophobic (but in a conservative I didn’t believe I was kind of way) person, to being able to shed that largely from my character in a couple short months. 

        I hope that makes some sense. A persons sexual identity is as big a part of your image of them as any other trait of their personality is, and is worth consideration.

    • Luc says:

      I agree.  Your not really being a homophobe just by disagreeing or seeing something a different way,

      • TheRealTruth says:

        Actually, you are.  That’s the agenda.  Whenever you dare to even question the Culture of Critique, these Social Justice Warriors, these Useful Idiots for Cultural Marxism, you become all things that are deemed “evil”.  They simultaneously lace their tirades and agitprop in scientific sounding words to serve as a symbol of authoritative vitriol.
        Example: homophobe

        The rational acknowledgement that getting fucked in the ass until you shit your intestines out is mentally and physically unhealthy.

        • Leon says:

          Again, who’s getting fucked in the ass until they shit their intestines out?

        • Ludophile says:

          You know who feared Cultural Marxism? Anders Bering Breivik. 

          You know who writes sentence like your lats one?  A viruleny homophobe (and most truly virulent homophobes are closeted, so i hope you find peace one day).

  20. Beth says:

    I always thought of him asexually. …Mostly because I didn’t want to picture him naked.