Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Dumbledore Gay?

Believe it or not, this is actually a philosophical question, not a gay question or really even a Harry Potter question. What it is is a question I debate a lot with my friends, a debate I thought it might be interesting to move online.

Everybody probably already knows this, but to summarize:

J.K. Rowling wrote seven books about a boy wizard. The last one was published in July 2007. In October 2007 Rowling announced that the character of Dumbledore was gay. The world erupted, as it is prone to with such matters, so much so that there is a whole thing on wikipedia  and, of course, more on Dumbledore's own wiki page.

As a Harry Potter fan, I really don't care if Dumbledore's gay one way or another. What I care about is larger literary philosophy behind such a fact, which really begs this question:

Is something true or fact if it's not included in the actual text/source? 

My answer:

No. I choose to take whatever the author gives me in the book and nothing more. So, for me, Dumbledore is not gay, not because I care about his sexual orientation, but because J.K. Rowling never bothered to include this fact in the actual books. Likewise, the twins' birthday is not April 1st, but some unknown day. I do not know Edward's thoughts upon first meeting Bella, because Midnight Sun wasn't a real, complete, published book.

Anything else: any online stuff, any comments, any articles, is all extra. Sometimes fun extra, but still extra. So, I read Midnight Sun, for example, but it's not part of Twilight to me.

My best friend's answer:

Dumbledore is gay. The twins' birthday is April 1st. These are facts because J.K. Rowling said so. It's not that she didn't bother to put them in the books, but that she didn't have time. Basically, J.K. Rowling is God and everything she says goes.

She reasons that it may not have all fit in the book. For example, HP is written from Harry's point of view. Well, why in the world would Harry know Dumbledore's sexual orientation? Why would this ever have been relevant to Harry's story? It wouldn't have, which is why it is not there, not why it is not fact.

What do you guys think:

Does it only count if it's in the text? Is Dumbledore gay?

Interesting Link, where the same topic is discussed and dissected further.

Interesting Link II:, where John Green shares his own opinions on the subject and JK Rowling specifically.


  1. I agree with your best friend. I'm the kind of person that actually goes searching for additional information from the author, that you can't find in the actual book (or movie, or whatever). If I didn't think of these things as facts, well what point would there be in searching for them. And really what point would there be in telling someone about them if the author themselve didn't see them as facts. So I believe that Dumbledore is gay.

  2. Dumbledore is not gay. She played to her audience, and the books were DONE. There's nothing in the books that made me believe it. Just attention-getting after the fact.


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