FOF #634 – Dumbledore is Gay!

Oct 22, 2007 · 64110 views

Dumbledore is gay!Dumbledore is gay! I always thought there was something a little ting-a-ling about the Harry Potter books but I never suspected it would be the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

We’ve received hundreds of letters, messages and even phone calls from you, our beautiful audience telling us that Dumbledore is gay. Is this for real? Is this just some cheap plot to draw attention away from the real gay love story between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy?

Harry Potter is gay, and we like that!Last Friday, author J.K. Rowling, well known for her popular fictional series of “Harry Potter” books that detail the life of a young wizard, outed one of the book’s main characters as gay.

This is really big folks and not just for Harry Potter fans. Despite what you think about Willy Wonka, Emily Elizabeth or Bert and Ernie, this time it’s for real.

J.K. Rowling helped take gay rights a step forward as she astounded her fans at a book reading at Carnegie Hall last Friday as she answered a question from the audience about the love interests of one of her principal characters.

At first the audience was stone cold silent as they were unsure of what had been said or how to react. But suddenly, the entire audience at Carnegie Hall burst into spontaneous applause.

Amazed by the enthusiastic reaction of the audience (of mostly 1,600 young students) Rowling responded ‘Just imagine the fan fiction now!’

But why did Rowling out Dumbledore at this critical point in time? The books may be out but the movies have yet to come out. We have some thoughts to share on this, so please listen to the show and find out.

Amanda and her father Myron!Besides Dumbledore, now that the fictional closet is being blown open, we can expect to see Bert and Ernie, He-Man, Peppermint Patty and Marcie and of course Willy Wonka marching in pride parades and on the cover of People Magazine soon enough. What fictional characters do you think will or should come out of the closet?

Join Amanda Steinstein as we bring another silver wizard onto the show, her father Myron to talk about the big news and being the father to one of the most popular Jewish women on the internet. We chat with Amanda about her new show at the Playground Theater and the risk factors to consider when working with glitter. We also inaugurate our new twitter account-insults!

You know you can subscribe to our “behind the scenes” twitter account to learn more about our process, but for something a bit more spicy, check out our brand new daily “insults” and get insulted three times a day every day!

Your momma is so ugly… you are so old…. you get the picture. Ah the joy of it!

The show that puts a little bubala in your cauldron- Feast of Fools.

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    Comments

  1. Outing a fictitious character after a book series is done has about the same worth as a posthumous celebrity/public figure’s outing–NONE.

    It’s a sad commentary on the GLBT community if we are reduced to needing fictitious characters and celebrities to validate our existence and to effect change in our situation.

    Change will begin with each individual BEING who we have been waiting for. It’s plain we are never going to have our equivalent of Martin Luther King, Jr., so each of us has to be his/her/hir own Dr. King.

  2. Brain Fork says:

    I don’t see the big deal… though, I’m not that big into Harry Potter. I agree with David on this one. Also, I am sick of the fricken fan-fiction crap that keeps popping up, my friends are obsessed with it … some of the crap I’ve seen… I don’t wanna talk about it *curls up into the foetal position*

    David, is “hir” a mainstream pronoun or something you made up? Either way, that’s pretty creative.

  3. matt says:

    Glitter sucks. Especially when you sell in a store where glitter is used liberally on the home decor items.
    Glitter on your hands, glitter on your face.

  4. Marc Felion says:

    David, I’m sorry you only see the negative side to Dumbledore’s outing. I’d like you to please consider that the HP books have entertained and inspired millions of readers and movie goers and that one should never underestimate the power of entertainment to change people’s lives. It can be a very powerful tool. Check out the leaky cauldron with over 2,600 comments:
    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

    The outing is really just a small piece of a bigger sweet pie. I don’t think the GLBT community is going to put all their eggs in the Dumbledore basket. I certainly haven’t pinned all my hopes and dreams on it, but it does make me feel good.

    We could start calling ourselves the “Dumbledore Army” but it doesn’t really have much appeal to me and would confuse the kids.

    You may never have an equivalent of MLK but there are a lot of people out there that have the potential to be one, please don’t crap on that either. That type of thinking will just hold us back.

  5. The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular children’s books series there has ever been. For Rowling to make such a statement publicly is HUGE and can’t be underestimated as just an “outing” of a fictional character.

    In many ways she is saying: “gay people are a critically important part of my world.” It’s the creator of the fiction saying one of the major protagonists is gay. Remember he’s also the headmaster of a children’s school.

    The sad reality is that in many places still in the United States, school districts (who adore the Potter Books and their ability to encourage children to read) will fire a teacher based on their sexual orientation. So hopefully this will at least make them rethink their position on the issue.

  6. One tip on getting rid of glitter- use masking tape to “roll” away the glittery mess of your clothes and hands.

    But then again, it’s GLITTER! It’s supposed to be pretty and fun. One thing that Marc said before the show was taped is that when you see glitter on a straight man’s face, it’s usually because he has been hanging out with a stripper.

  7. Brain Fork said:

    David, is “hir” a mainstream pronoun or something you made up? Either way, that’s pretty creative.

    David answers:

    Neither of the above. I first came across it in a non-canon Star Trek novel, Killing Time. It was used to reference a hermaphroditic character. I think there have been some attempts to make the use more mainstream, but with practically no success.

    Marc says:

    I’d like you to please consider that the HP books have entertained and inspired millions of readers and movie goers and that one should never underestimate the power of entertainment to change people’s lives.

    David answers:

    I have never underestimated this. I am saying that waiting until after the book series was published, movie rights sold, and the books are in millions of childrens’ hands is the coward’s way of trying to show inclusion. If it was so important to her that she represent GLBT characters in her stories, then why did she not write in a partner for Dumbledore?

    Marc says:

    You may never have an equivalent of MLK but there are a lot of people out there that have the potential to be one, please don’t crap on that either. That type of thinking will just hold us back.

    David answers:

    Dont’ put words in my mouth. I am not negating the possibility of there being a GLBT equivalent of MLK. I am saying that we all have the possibility to be an MLK in our own lives. We need to stop looking outside ourselves for validation and rescue and realize that we have the hero/heroine inside of us (kinda like the Mariah Carey song), and that nobody is going to do it for ourselves.

    Fausto says:

    The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular children’s books series there has ever been. For Rowling to make such a statement publicly is HUGE and can’t be underestimated as just an “outing” of a fictional character.

    In many ways she is saying: “gay people are a critically important part of my world.” It’s the creator of the fiction saying one of the major protagonists is gay. Remember he’s also the headmaster of a children’s school.

    David answers:

    I will say it again: she waited until the entire series was done, movie rights sold, and the books were in the hands of millions of children before she made such an statement. We were an afterthought. She never presented the character as gay, so that she has revealed his orientation after the fact is of no use to us.

    Fausto says:

    The sad reality is that in many places still in the United States, school districts (who adore the Potter Books and their ability to encourage children to read) will fire a teacher based on their sexual orientation. So hopefully this will at least make them rethink their position on the issue.

    David answers:

    With a partner who is a teacher in such a school system, I am well aware of this. The same mentality that thinks that any gay teacher is automatically going to be a threat to kids is the same mentality that seeks to ban the Harry Potter books because they claim that they are “teaching a religion” to children. Outing Dumbledore after the fact is not going to make anybody rethink their position on the issue. Only teachers who do a good job and set themselves up as a good example and role model and only open-minded administrators who are willing to defend that teacher to the death will change any minds.

  8. Neezil says:

    To me it’s just a simple issue. We’re out there and many of us are tired of staying in the closet because of our jobs or where we end up living. Others who are out of the closet are also probably tired of not being accepted by a large portion of people. If a character is outed as gay and that gets a standing ovation, it’s just one more step towards telling people that maybe being gay is just a normal thing that’s all around us. It doesn’t matter that she didn’t write in the character as gay. What’s nice is that she is clearly trying to help gay people by pointing out that we are here to stay and could use a little tolerance sometimes.

  9. David- Better late than never!

    Those are all good points, but I’m still happy that J.K. outed one of her main characters. I would have liked to see the character showing some of his gay side in the books, but oh well.

    Baby steps! Listen to the podcast to hear about some of the other reasons we think J.K. outed Dumbledore. Hint: it’s her lawsuit.

  10. Neezil writes:

    If a character is outed as gay and that gets a standing ovation, it’s just one more step towards telling people that maybe being gay is just a normal thing that’s all around us…What’s nice is that she is clearly trying to help gay people by pointing out that we are here to stay and could use a little tolerance sometimes.

    David answers:

    The people we are most trying to convince have the simplest way to weaken that argument: “That is fiction. We are talking about real people here, not characters in a book.” Similarly, they will answer a celebrity’s coming out by saying “That’s Hollywood–fantasy land. I live in the ‘Real America.’” African-American people have been in movies, books, TV shows, stage plays, and corporate America, and this still didn’t keep James Byrd from being dragged to death or the Jena 6 from experiencing the discrimination of a kangaroo court.

    I call your attention to former U.S. Senator George Allen’s infamous “Macaca” speech:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/r90z0PMnKwI&rel=1

    Just a few sentences after the “Macaca” comment he makes the statement that his opponent was “…in Hollywood with a bunch of movie moguls…we care about fact, not fiction.” I grew up in the South, and I know that attitudes ike these are what we are working against, and no amount of Dumbledores, Rock Hudsons, Liberaces, or Barney Franks are going to change minds like these. What will change their minds is everyday citizens living their lives openly and being good, contributing citizens. We need to get our heads out of the Celluloid Closet and be those people.

  11. R*Jizzle says:

    Too bad it wasn’t Harry…that would have really set off a fire storm.

  12. Tommy says:

    Dumbledore and Gandolf of the Lord of the Rings would hook up. They will make a hot power couple.

  13. Sure the series is over (but for the movies), and maybe knowing Dumbledore was gay before might have made a slightly less insignificant difference, but the point isn’t that a fictional character is gay…it’s that an entire audience APPLAUDED upon learning he was gay.

    That’s a start. They didn’t riot. They didn’t protest. They didn’t start burning their books.

    The next step would be an entire audience being indifferent and the revelation NOT being newsworthy.

  14. Cliff Dix says:

    I just wanted to say I love Amanda’s father. It is nice to hear from someone a little older and straight with such a wonderful open mind. No wonder Amanda is such a great person.
    with love and kisses

  15. PupDon says:

    I didn’t get a chance to finish the show yesterday. So this morning I come into the office and was plugging my iPod into my speakers and didn’t realize that a) my speakers and iPod were up full blast and b) I had accidentally turned it on. So for a brief shining moment everyone in my entire office (and probably the office next door) heard the booming voice of Amanda Steinstein say,”…sitting there with their assholes puckering”. LOL!

  16. PupDon says:

    I don’t think Rowling went to the reading with the intention of “outing” Dumbledore. I think the question came up and she just answered it. I think it was bold of her to say it and in the end provides more of in impact that a character that people know and love turns out to be gay it may make people think twice about their own hatred and homophobia. If it had been done during the course of the books it might have given the homophobic sickos an excuse to fight and a way to poison people’s mind with ideas of resistance but at this point there’s nothing left to challenge. It’s over. The books are read, the opinions of the character are formed. So bringing to light this one little detail gives people something to think about.

  17. Malou says:

    what about that girl with the glasses from Scooby-Doo, she is soooooo gay

  18. Brain Fork says:

    http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/2007/10/23/dumbledore-is-not-gay-taking-stories-more-seriously-than-the-author/

    I don’t know how you guys want to take this, but it raises some good points about this issue.

  19. StevenvanL. says:

    I am not sure about there being no subtext in the book itself – I did wonder a little bit about DD’s intense friendship with this Grindenwald (or some such) even as I read the book, before she made the announcement. It didn’t make complete sense without assuming there was something more than just a friendship going on. In a way I imagine hearing it stated so matter-of-fact afterwards will get the under the homophobes skin more, after reading all the seven books and having been ‘duped’ into really caring about what turns out to be a gay character.

  20. Brain Fork says:

    oh, there’s a second part to the article I posted… http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/2007/10/24/dumbledore-is-not-hetero-taking-stories-more-seriously-than-the-author-ii/

    It furthers the point by saying that Dumbledore is neither homo nor hetro. The point is that it was never addressed in the book and is thus irrelevant to the story.

    He’s touching on the idea that the author no longer has power over her story once it’s finished, her statement has as much credibility to the story as the average reader’s

  21. PupDon says:

    What a nut job. This guy’s essay is akin to a small child plugging their ears and going “la la la, I can’t hear you, la la la”.

    John Mark Reynolds writes, “At this point it is too late for Rowling to change the text. She cannot decide to kill Harry now . . . or announce that Harry is actually a vampire, a member of the Tory party, or antidisestablishmentarian. She wrote what she wrote and now it belongs to us.”

    Um, hate to break it to you dumbass but Rawling can say whatever the hell she wants to say about her characters, they are hers. And she has no obligation to you or anyone else to write, do or say anything regarding the characters. She could put out a short story about Dumbledore’s romantic interest tomorrow and there you go, the story will be officially woven into the Potter mythos. And who are you to say she has no right to say something about her own work? It’s HER WORK! Geeze. That’s like saying all those love songs Elton John sang can’t be used for gay men to sing to each other because at the time he wasn’t out.

    Thanks for posting this Brain Fork, I needed something to get me riled up for today. LOL! :)

  22. Pup Don said:

    So for a brief shining moment everyone in my entire office (and probably the office next door) heard the booming voice of Amanda Steinstein say,”…sitting there with their assholes puckering”. LOL!

    David replies:

    I read this reply on my cellphone’s email and I freaked out the entire break room cackling. That was too funny, Pup Don!

    Pup Don said:

    She could put out a short story about Dumbledore’s romantic interest tomorrow and there you go, the story will be officially woven into the Potter mythos.

    David replies:

    This is the point I was getting at, but never articulated well enough. As another podcaster and author, Mur Lafferty said on her show, you can think whatever you want about a character and about a story’s world and you can write all you want in the notes that never make it into the text. In the end, it’s what goes into the book that actually matters. Maybe we will see a spinoff series featuring Dumbledore, and maybe this was Rowling’s way of testing the waters for how such a story line would be accepted. Or, maybe not. We’ll just have to see.

  23. Brain Fork says:

    No problem Pup. Though I still think he makes a valid point about the issue. They are her characters, yes, but the story has been written and J.K. saying that Dumbledore is gay is now just her opinion. If she wrote the spin off you’re mentioned then it would become a matter of fact.

    On a side note, I read up on the details to the back story… that would make an effing great book!

  24. PupDon says:

    Actually, David, your post reminded me of something. I saw Laurie Anderson do a performance piece once called “Songs and Stories from Moby Dick” and it was taking the story of the great white whale and examining different aspects of it, holding those up to the light and using details to tell other stories. In her research, Anderson was able to look at the original manuscript that Melville had written. He had written several notes in the margins in pencil as he wrote the text in ink, and after his death his widow took it upon herself to clean it up by erasing the pencil scribbles, thinking it would add more value to the manuscript. Anderson painstakingly examined the indentations of the pencil notes as best as she could to see what notes the author had made and found some fascinating insight into the characters. Using these notes she was able to bring these characters to life in her performance piece.

    I’m a big music fanatic and one of my favorite things to do is to listen to early demos of songs, to see the evolution of an idea, to see what the songwriter was going for when the idea first struck them through the process until the song becomes a finished piece. I know a lot of people who could care less about the process and take the finished product as well as their interpretation of that product as the end all be all. And that’s fine. Everyone is different. I have to laugh when I see people say that she can’t say Dumbledore is gay. She can and she did. It’s up to the individual to use that knowledge in whatever way they see fit. I like the idea that when she wrote the character she had it in her mind that he was gay. Now, when I reread the books that little thought will stick in my mind. Someone else may easily choose to ignore that fact and only concentrate what is written in the text. And that is fine too. It would be a boring sort of world if we were all the same. :)

  25. I understand what you are saying, Pup, and I like the whole idea of experiencing the creative process–whether myself or vicariously. To give you an idea, I watch all the special features on every DVD I buy.

    I enjoy and appreciate what goes into the final product, but in the end, the final product is what the author/artist chose to release to the world. A later interpolation is just that–an interpolation.

  26. Ventura79 says:

    Marc, you know what they say,,, BIG HANDS…BIG GLOVES!!! muah!

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