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Author Topic: J K Rowling: "Dumbledore is gay"
DrConway
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posted 20 October 2007 11:04 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
WARNING: DEATHLY HALLOWS SPOILERS.

Check the article.

This is a bit of a double-edged sword because gay people will have to struggle with the stereotype that you can't trust gay teachers with children, and JKR has kind of pre-emptively acknowledged this because in Deathly Hallows, she has Rita Skeeter implying that the 'relationship' between Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter was 'inappropriate'.


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Sineed
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posted 20 October 2007 06:02 PM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's interesting are the comments below the article. A few Brits remarked how right on it was for JK Rowling to make this announcement, especially after making all this money off the Americans. So a few offended Americans chimed in, and this lively back-and-forth about gay rights in America was off and running.
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Doug
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posted 20 October 2007 10:02 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

That didn't take long.


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Albireo
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posted 21 October 2007 12:02 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sineed:
What's interesting are the comments below the article.
OK, what about the owl? Was Hedwig gay, too?

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Michelle
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posted 21 October 2007 02:50 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, the comments ARE fun. I love the one or two Americans who are trying to convince everyone that the US is a beautiful, tolerant place for gays and lesbians. What a joke! Yeah, maybe compared to Iran it is.

As for Dumbledore - did anyone else notice anything weird about this?

quote:
She was asked by one young fan if Dumbledore finds "true love".

"Dumbledore is gay," Rowling replied to gasps and applause.


That's interesting, but it doesn't answer her fan's question, unless she's implying that gay people don't find "true love"...


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DrConway
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posted 21 October 2007 03:18 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I suppose there could be an overanalysis of this; I think JKR's back story may have something to the effect that Dumbledore felt "burned" by Gellert Grindelwald, and shied away from strong romantic attachments after that.
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Nanuq
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posted 21 October 2007 04:51 AM      Profile for Nanuq   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm not sure what the point of this whole "Dumbledore is Gay" backstory is given that the Harry Potter series is now over (unless she decides to write a book about him and Gellert when they were younger).
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Sineed
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posted 21 October 2007 10:20 AM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Last night I told my twelve year old daughter, who is a huge Harry Potter fan, that Dumbledore is gay. When she stopped laughing, her comment was, "What difference does it make?" So she's with Nanuq on this one.

The fundies already weren't letting their kids read HP anyway, because it promotes witchcraft

Michelle, I wouldn't read too much into her "Dumbledore is gay" announcement in response to the true love question. I think she was so eager to drop that particular bombshell, she didn't bother to wait for the right question, or put it in context.

[ 21 October 2007: Message edited by: Sineed ]


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LemonThriller
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posted 21 October 2007 11:06 AM      Profile for LemonThriller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey Michelle! Read on a little bit, Rowling was just waiting for the applause to die down. Afterwards, she talks about how Dumbledore fell in love with another master wizards, and how we was could have been blinded by his love. So, I think that answers the question, that he fell in love, although it didn't work out.
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LemonThriller
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posted 21 October 2007 11:12 AM      Profile for LemonThriller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
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!


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scooter
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posted 21 October 2007 11:59 AM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LemonThriller:
Hey Michelle! Read on a little bit, Rowling was just waiting for the applause to die down. Afterwards, she talks about how Dumbledore fell in love...

Oh sure, wreck a subtle attack on JK with facts.

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Dana Larsen
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posted 22 October 2007 01:42 AM      Profile for Dana Larsen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I heard Dumbledore was also a secret stoner!

Or maybe that's just me...


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 22 October 2007 02:28 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.

That's the vibe I picked up when I read that part of the book. I thought it added interesting depth.


quote:
Deathly Hallows, she has Rita Skeeter implying that the 'relationship' between Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter was 'inappropriate'.

There was a whole sub plot, or minor theme of showing the media up for what it is, or what it is in Rowling's eyes, through the "Rita Skeeter" character. I wonder how much of that is personal? I imagine the British tabloids did their best to dig up dirt on her, and if they failed, they'd resort to invention, I'm sure.

I'm not so much of a fan of Rowling that I followed her private life through the tabloids, does anyone know if she was given a rough ride?


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 22 October 2007 02:29 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
double post

[ 22 October 2007: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


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quelar
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posted 22 October 2007 07:29 AM      Profile for quelar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dana Larsen:
I heard Dumbledore was also a secret stoner!

Or maybe that's just me...


I read this story somewhere that implied they were all giant pot smokers....now, if only I could remember who it was and where I read it...


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bliter
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posted 22 October 2007 08:32 AM      Profile for bliter   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If the author didn't make the character's sexual orientation clear in her books, I don't know why she would not have preferred to leave her readers in suspense. She was asked. So what! She didn't have to answer.

I really don't give a shite. We are, after all, talking about a fictional character.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 22 October 2007 12:21 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
We are, after all, talking about a fictional character.


You....you take that back!

sniff....


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bliter
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posted 22 October 2007 12:42 PM      Profile for bliter   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My dearest Tommy,

Though it may have been rumored that I tend toward snideness and pomposity, I would never be intentionally hurtful toward a fellow poster.

I imagine that extra vigilance will now be required when passing through Customs.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 22 October 2007 12:57 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd answer, but it's too hard to type in the fetal position.



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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 22 October 2007 01:22 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dana Larsen:
I heard Dumbledore was also a secret stoner!

Or maybe that's just me...


I don't think that it's any secret that you're a stoner.


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Farmpunk
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posted 22 October 2007 02:00 PM      Profile for Farmpunk     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm still hopefull that an adult will a write a book, or a series of books, for adults - and that people will read them.

I suspect CanLit won't allow for such a popularization of fiction, however. Can't have too many people writing and reading unimportant works. What would the people with creative writing degrees do?

Imagine if Rowling was invited to Yaddo, or to guest lecture at Iowa's writing school? Chaos in the pages would ensue.

I thought the Potter books sucked. I found it disturbing that so many adults were hooked on children's literature. None of the books were as bright and adult crossover as, say, a movie like Toy Story.


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Catchfire
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posted 22 October 2007 02:20 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm still hopefull that an adult will a write a book, or a series of books, for adults - and that people will read them.

Hope no more! (Or keep it up if you must.) Try Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, starting with All the Pretty Horses. It's fantastic, and definitely for adults.

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Tommy_Paine
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posted 22 October 2007 02:36 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cheers:

quote:
I suspect CanLit won't allow for such a popularization of fiction, however. Can't have too many people writing and reading unimportant works. What would the people with creative writing degrees do?

We have such a fine tradition of excellence in literature, that we can well afford to relax and have fun now.

and Jeers:

quote:
I thought the Potter books sucked. I found it disturbing that so many adults were hooked on children's literature. None of the books were as bright and adult crossover as, say, a movie like Toy Story.

I don't think the Potter books were ever intended for an adult only audience. I thought they worked well as a vehicle for both parents and their kids to have a shared reading experience, contemporaneously.


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 23 October 2007 06:14 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Conservative reaction is less than kind. Don Surber asks:
Why would people applaud?

The comment section below his post is also instructive.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 23 October 2007 11:47 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can hear the sick thinking now…” Hey my pro- gay friends, we snuck one by those moral conservatives by indoctrinating millions of innocent schoolchildren and even coerced many of their Christian parents to become complicit in our devious plot by buying the books for the kids.

Yes...we wouldn't want to be having our children indoctrinated or anything....


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Skinny Dipper
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posted 24 October 2007 01:53 AM      Profile for Skinny Dipper   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dumbledore is "Will and Grace" gay. He is asexual in that readers and moviegoers will never imagine or see him embraced with another man. He's a safe gay man who isn't seen acting on his passions. Parents can talk to their children about Dumbledore because he ain't "Queer as Folk" material. Then again, the Harry Potter books are meant for kids who sometimes think male-female kissing is icky. Eww!
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CMOT Dibbler
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posted 24 October 2007 01:19 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Dumbledore is "Will and Grace" gay. He is asexual in that readers and moviegoers will never imagine or see him embraced with another man. He's a safe gay man who isn't seen acting on his passions. Parents can talk to their children about Dumbledore because he ain't "Queer as Folk" material.

Do we have to politicize this that much?


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RosaL
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posted 24 October 2007 01:44 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:

Do we have to politicize this that much?


One of the nice things about children's literature is its freedom from the "messiness" of sexuality. I think that's why Dumbledore appears asexual. In the later books, when the characters and intended audience grew to adolescence, sexuality does enter the story. So it's not inappropriate at this point to say that Dumbledore was gay. But it would have been inappropriate earlier in the series.


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Makwa
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posted 25 October 2007 08:55 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albireo:
Was Hedwig gay, too?
And what about the Angry Inch?

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Albireo
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posted 25 October 2007 10:25 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, hell, you'd be angry, too, with only that one inch.
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Makwa
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posted 26 October 2007 04:43 AM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albireo:
Well, hell, you'd be angry, too, with only that one inch.
Well, that and being stuck with Andrea Martin as a manager.

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Michelle
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posted 26 October 2007 08:24 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albireo:
Well, hell, you'd be angry, too, with only that one inch.

Heh. Yeah, that was my theory about that JDL event that we've been talking about as well. It was called, "Not One Inch!"

Geez, no wonder these guys are so angry and militaristic. Compensating?

[ 26 October 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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aka Mycroft
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posted 26 October 2007 03:14 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I predict that JK Rowling's revelation will lead to a new generation of really bad S/F erotica and slash fiction.

Dumbeldore/Gandalf anyone?


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aka Mycroft
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posted 26 October 2007 03:25 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"their white beards intermingled, the threads dancing with one another filling the room"
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DrConway
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posted 27 October 2007 06:25 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*headdesk* That was just too bizarre.
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babblerwannabe
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posted 27 October 2007 10:15 AM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It would be more awsome if she said Harry Potter is bisexual. Dumbledore seems like an asexual person, to begin with, making him gay is no big deal.
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N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2007 10:35 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the way this is presented perpetuates the liberal myth/narrative of the gay man as the tragic figure, the person who is always doomed not to find love, hense perpetually alone and unfullfilled. This myth although cloaked in the language of tolerance appears to me to have a more reactionary subtext. The subtext seems to suggest that ultimately gay men will be unfufilled/fail in pursuit of their(subtext "unnatural") desires. According to this narrative the gay person is essentially punished because of their desires. The liberal audience is also allowed to accept the gay person only within the knowledge that the tragic figure is actually not sexually active they are essentially asexual, the socially transgressive act is neutralized so that the liberal can maintain both their self-concept of tolerance without challenging there heterosexism. Just a thought.

[ 27 October 2007: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


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RosaL
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posted 27 October 2007 10:44 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
I think the way this is presented perpetuates the liberal myth/narrative of the gay man as the tragic figure, the person who is always doomed not to find love, hense perpetually alone and unfullfilled. [ 27 October 2007: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]

Nobody has a sexual relationship in the HP series until the very end and by that time Dumbledore has been dead for some time. (They're kids' books.) There's one (arguably significant) exception as far as I can recall - the werewolf/witch marriage which is opposed by some but defended by others, including, I think, Dumbledore and, implicitly, the author.


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2007 10:53 AM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Nobody has a sexual relationship in the HP series until the very end and by that time Dumbledore has been dead for some time. (They're kids' books.) There's one (arguably significant) exception as far as I can recall - the werewolf/witch marriage which is opposed by some but defended by others, including, I think, Dumbledore and, implicitly, the author.

I haven't read the books, I was responding to what Rowling had said about Dumbledore having a tragic love affair in his youth and that he was alone since, that precisely is in step with the narrative that I am talking about.


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RosaL
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posted 27 October 2007 10:59 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:

I haven't read the books, I was responding to what Rowling had said about Dumbledore having a tragic love affair in his youth and that he was alone since, that precisely is in step with the narrative that I am talking about.


Well, few of the Hogwarts teachers seemed to have any kind of sex life and if asked about the others, I suppose she'd say something similar.

[ 27 October 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2007 01:49 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perhaps it is not clear what I am talking about allow me to be explicit. In reading fiction it is understood and accepted that there is a back story, parts of characters actions or lives that are not explicitly stated, this often includes pre-history to the unfolding of the narrative. In mentioning Dumbledore’s sexuality after the fact this is what Rowling is referencing. The manner in which Rowling has presented Dumbledore’s backstory in a manner that makes certain things explicit 1. Dumbledore is not in a relationship and 2) He is not sexual active nor is it suggested he ever has been. Considering this is back story and the series is finished than she could really have said anything about his sex life/relationships, he could have been in an ongoing relationship either with another character or someone else, he could have been polyamorous or simply single and sexually active. If just find it interesting that the back story chosen appears to fit a certain cultural narratives concerning the lives of gay men.

I'm not saying I'm necessarily right nor do I need to be, I'm just interested in exploring implicit cultural narratives.


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RosaL
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posted 27 October 2007 02:02 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I understood what you were saying and I know about implicit cultural narratives.

[ 27 October 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2007 02:12 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wasn't suggesting you didn't I just wanted to make sure I was clear as possible.
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babblerwannabe
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posted 27 October 2007 09:24 PM      Profile for babblerwannabe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by RosaL:

Nobody has a sexual relationship in the HP series until the very end and by that time Dumbledore has been dead for some time. (They're kids' books.) There's one (arguably significant) exception as far as I can recall - the werewolf/witch marriage which is opposed by some but defended by others, including, I think, Dumbledore and, implicitly, the author.


Where do you think all the students in Hogwart come from? All the main characters have heterosexual parents, including Ron’s mom and dad.


I completely agree with N R Kissed.


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N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2007 10:54 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Where do you think all the students in Hogwart come from? All the main characters have heterosexual parents, including Ron’s mom and dad.

I was thinking that myself

Although I actually missed that Michelle raised a similar point way back at the beginning

quote:
That's interesting, but it doesn't answer her fan's question, unless she's implying that gay people don't find "true love"...

[ 27 October 2007: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


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happydays
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posted 27 October 2007 11:58 PM      Profile for happydays     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is it not a little deceptive that she anounces the sexuality of one character after making millions, maybe billions of dollars. How much cash would have flowed through her trough, had
this revelation been presented at the start of
Ms. Rowlings series.

A very wise business decision on her part, and perhaps, now she has established a new demography for her books.

I still feel she mislead many of her fans.


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 28 October 2007 04:20 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fiction writers will do that.
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DrConway
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posted 28 October 2007 08:54 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You think Dumbledore fits some kind of tragic narrative? Look at Snape. He couldn't even get the girl he liked.
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RosaL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 13921

posted 28 October 2007 09:31 AM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by babblerwannabe:

Where do you think all the students in Hogwart come from? All the main characters have heterosexual parents, including Ron’s mom and dad.


I completely agree with N R Kissed.


I would agree that Ron's mom and dad, and Harry's, certainly seem to be heterosexual. I don't think we know anything about the sexuality of the other kids' parents or the circumstances of their conception.

I enjoyed the HP series but I'm far from uncritical of it and I don't particularly feel like defending it. Moreover, it's all too easy to be misconstrued in a debate like this. So I'm out of here .....


From: the underclass | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
LemonThriller
babbler
Babbler # 11085

posted 30 October 2007 07:57 PM      Profile for LemonThriller     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, we can speculate all we want about what JKR's intentions were, but honestly, I don't think this woman needs any more publicity or any more money.

Bringing up the issue of homosexuality in the earlier books would have stirred up just as much controversy, detracting from the plot-line and the main issues of the book.

I personally think this was a great move. Everyone loves Dumbledore -- he's a legend -- and now that he's gay, the author, whose books have continually been an appeal for tolerance, is throwing that message down even harder. It's easier to be accepting of Mudbloods (that's us), and of Werewolves (they don't exist), but homosexuality in a children's series? That's unheard of and a giant leap forward. I couldn't be any more supportive of this move.

And as for the theory of perpetuating the "liberal narrative of lonely gay men", I don't agree. This extra fact just adds more depth to Dumbledore. He was so intelligent, so powerful, only one person could attract him so ferociously. And it was his love for this one person (who was also powerful and intelligent), that blinded his ability to see the danger in his ideas. *sigh* How romantic and wonderful!


From: Halifax, N.S. | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged

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