Dumbledore's Homosexuality

         As background, Albus Dumbledore was the whimsical Headmaster of Hogwarts. He was an all-around kickass character: incredibly intelligent, kind, selfless, and utterly devoted to his values. Most of Albus' actions were based on his belief that the goodness in people's hearts always prevails. Even some of the Headmaster's worst mistakes ultimately stemmed from a sense of altruism and genuine empathy. As a result of his moral strength, Dumbledore gained a loyal following both inside and outside Hogwarts With all of his power, intelligence and love, it's no wonder Dumbledore was the only man Voldemort ever feared!

        As many people know, J.K. Rowling revealed in an interview that Dumbledore was in fact gay, and crushed on the notorious and brilliant wizard Gellert Grindelwald in his youth.

        Why would Rowling out Dumbledore in an interview instead of the series? It would have been very easy for her to mention Albus' feelings casually somewhere in The Deathly Hallows. After all, one point in the book delves specifically into the Headmaster's adolescence and association with Grindelwald.

        The main theory I have is that J.K. Rowling didn't want to add something so surprising about a character to an already-packed book. Why insert a random fact into The Deathly Hallows that isn't relevant to the plot? As it is, the last installment was already bursting at the seams. Perhaps Rowling thought that such a controversial bit of information would distract readers from the intricate plot.

         Similarly, if you think about it, outing a major character during the series would have opened quite the can of worms for the author. Maybe Ms. Rowling wasn't ready for the extra media attention an openly gay character might have garnered. Especially with regards to such an influential character as Albus.

Tha's between Albus an' Gellert Grindelwald, 'Arry.

         At any rate, I applaud the author for outing Dumbledore after the series ended. To me, her decision shows readers that sexual orientation has little bearing on a person's character. Rowling left Dumbledore's orientation out of the equation entirely, which left the reader to judge Dumbledore by his actions alone. The author's decision emphasizes equality by not allowing people to make snap judgments about a character solely based on who that character loves.

          On the other hand, it could be argued that Rowling was afraid to stand up for gay rights. Or that a reader would not be wrong to judge a person based on sexual orientation. Either argument holds weight.

          Of course Dumbledore's homosexuality gives GLBT people out there a role model, which never hurts. Who doesn't want the gifted Headmaster of Hogwarts on "their side"?

          It's curious that the Headmaster during his life was also noted for his tolerance towards the underdog. Dumbledore gave a werewolf a teaching job, fought against the discrimination of different races, and even granted Snape the Death Eater a second chance. The Headmaster was regarded by the Wizarding community as accepting to a fault. Did his rather unique attitude towards differences stem from Albus' experiences with homosexuality? We may never know.


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