Dumbledor outed- by JKR!
#1
Yup, it appears that when a movie scriptwriter started inquiring into a possible romantic past for Dumbledor, Ms. Rowling replied flatly that Dumbledor was gay!

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071020/D8SCUJG00.html
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#2
Yes, strange thing. Obviously he must have been covetly gay, because with all the enemies he had, it is surprising that none of them ever used it against him.

He had a relationship with Grindelwald. It makes one wonder whether he didn't at some point also try something with Voldemort. Voldemort's covet gayness is a distinct possibility, in view of the lack of romance in his biography.
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#3
There are many things that I am very interested to know about the HP universe and its characters. Must say, this is not one of them. :roll:

shadowfax Wrote:Voldemort's covet gayness is a distinct possibility, in view of the lack of romance in his biography.

I disagree. I believe the books are quite clear that the lack of romance in Voldemort's life was due to his inability to love, whether he was covertly gay or openly straight. Personally I think he was asexual. The idea that he gravitated toward either sex would open up the possibilty of romance with another person which would open up the possibility of his loving another person which would have made the story turn out very differently.

As for Dumbeldore "trying something" with Voldemort? Only in fanfiction, IMO.
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#4
Interesting. Since it's not of import to the overall themes of the book, and there are little to no clues regarding this, I wonder if this isn't a post-production thumb in the eye of the Christian Right. :bg:

Niphredil Wrote:I disagree. I believe the books are quite clear that the lack of romance in Voldemort's life was due to his inability to love, whether he was covertly gay or openly straight. Personally I think he was asexual. The idea that he gravitated toward either sex would open up the possibilty of romance with another person which would open up the possibility of his loving another person which would have made the story turn out very differently.

While I agree that Voldemort appears almost wholly asexual throughout the books, there is not necessarily a correlation between a sexual relationship, and romance. There are plenty of unhealthy, even self-destructive relationships that tend to be more about dominance and subordination (by one or both participants) than they are about romance and genuine caring. If I had to place Voldemort in a camp, it would be in this latter category, using, misusing, and abusing an individual out of his need for dominance and control.
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#5
RobRoy Wrote:Interesting. Since it's not of import to the overall themes of the book, and there are little to no clues regarding this, I wonder if this isn't a post-production thumb in the eye of the Christian Right. :bg:

After some additional thought on this matter, I think that this character trait does play more of a role than I had thought on first glance. One of the charges laid at Dumbledore's feet was that he delayed, greatly, in confronting Grindelwald and ending his reign of terror. That Dumbledore had romantic feelings for Gindelwald would certainly give reason (though not excuse) for his delay.
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#6
RobRoy Wrote:While I agree that Voldemort appears almost wholly asexual throughout the books, there is not necessarily a correlation between a sexual relationship, and romance. There are plenty of unhealthy, even self-destructive relationships that tend to be more about dominance and subordination (by one or both participants) than they are about romance and genuine caring. If I had to place Voldemort in a camp, it would be in this latter category, using, misusing, and abusing an individual out of his need for dominance and control.

Oh yes, that's very true. *nods*
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#7
Niphredil Wrote:I disagree. I believe the books are quite clear that the lack of romance in Voldemort's life was due to his inability to love, whether he was covertly gay or openly straight. Personally I think he was asexual. The idea that he gravitated toward either sex would open up the possibilty of romance with another person which would open up the possibility of his loving another person which would have made the story turn out very differently.


Having a sexual orientation is quite different from actually being able to experience love. Or do you think paedophiles etc do really 'love' their victims?
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#8
It is an interesting concept that people think great villains have no sex drive.

Napoleon is popularly considered to have had next to no interest in sex and no sex drive.

Hitler's sexuality is also a bit ambivalent.

(although I believe that in both cases this is more popular legend than founded in real historic evidence)

This makes it seem that somebody with a marked sexuality cannot be totally evil. Hamlet was put to the test by see if he was truly mad. Presumably the theory was that mad people don't care about sex.

In reality, this is different, and in today's world with all the stories about sick perverts we get in the news etc, we know it is sadly true that both madmen and evil and sick people do have sex drive.
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#9
shadowfax Wrote:Napoleon is popularly considered to have had next to no interest in sex and no sex drive.

Hitler's sexuality is also a bit ambivalent.

Really!? I thought their sexuality and sex-drive were abundantly clear, generally made legendary by rumor and myth. In fact they may have been somewhat blown out of proportion to pain each man as more base or even animal-like in their desires and villify them further. After all, Napoleon had Josephine, a number of mistresses, and an tidy handful of children. Hitler, of course, had Eva Braun at the end, but there was also a small string of semi to well-known mistresses.

Quote:In reality, this is different, and in today's world with all the stories about sick perverts we get in the news etc, we know it is sadly true that both madmen and evil and sick people do have sex drive.

Agreed, although it is the "proper" application of sex drive that makes for a "good" person, and the "improper" that makes for the opposite. Seeing a family-man, or woman standing with the support of their immediates is good press and almost a necessity these days. Extramarital affairs, sexual orientation, or "perversion" can cause any number of issues for someone seeking or in power. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho can certainly attest to all three of the above as detrimental to his career.
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#10
Well, JKR has done quite an interesting thing with her Potter series.
She's allowed Harry and the gang to grow up. And as they mature, so do the story lines. I saw the dreaded 'sex monster' starting to appear in the 'Goblet of Fire' film.

There was much flirting and ogling going on among the students. And a bit of unsavory innuendos thrown out -- subtly, mind you, but they were there.

Hats off to JKR. The little lady made a lot of history and lot of money with her creations. She's given us struggling authors something to aspire to.
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#11
My first impression was, and remains, that it's a headline-grabbing publicity stunt. Interesting how she releases this information after the frenzy over the final book has past. She's made the bulk of the fast money on it, now she can afford possibly alienating some readers.
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#12
shadowfax Wrote:Having a sexual orientation is quite different from actually being able to experience love.

Yes, I am aware of that. I made no claims to the contrary. And yet I'm confused... you said: "Voldemort's covet gayness is a distinct possibility, in view of the lack of romance in his biography."

So... are you asserting that the "lack of romance" was because he was gay? That gay people therefore do not have romance? Please clarify this for me; your statements seem to be in conflict.


shadowfax Wrote:Or do you think paedophiles etc do really 'love' their victims?

I made no such claim and I hold no such belief. I'm positively disgusted that anyone would even ask me that.

I merely thought that, had Voldemort had any interest in either sex, it would "open up the possibility" that he could love another person. Not that it would but that it could. I should have mentioned, as RobRoy pointed out to me (and, in case you missed it, I agreed with him), that Voldemort more likely had unhealthy, abusive sexual relationships with other people, if he had any sexual relationships at all.
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#13
Boomstick Wrote:My first impression was, and remains, that it's a headline-grabbing publicity stunt. Interesting how she releases this information after the frenzy over the final book has past. She's made the bulk of the fast money on it, now she can afford possibly alienating some readers.

Really? I could be monumentally naive, but the manner in which the information was released (in response to a specific question) and the current status of the book, and Rowlings' subsequent bank account, seem to suggest against.

What would be the point of a "headline-grabbing publicity stunt"?
All your base are belong to us.

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#14
There is no evidence for this in the books. Nor is there evidence for Albus and Minerva and Professor Grubbly-Plank having a menage-a-trois! In fact, ...

Well, JK Rowling said she thought of him as gay and deleted a line in a proposed movie script on that basis. What is remarkable is that there is nothing in canon to support such an attribution unless you consider that a celibate lifestyle in the face of a same-sex attraction (never mentioned or described or hinted) is JKR's idea of normative homosexual behaviours. And it is a viable lifestyle choice just as for heterosexuals.

Frankly, I'm glad we won't have any backstory torrid romances of either orientation!

Imagine:

Dapper Dumbly and Miss McGonagall Do Dallas!

Albus and the Boys from Brazil on Break!

Dumbledore and Grindewald Gone Wild!

Hogwarts Blanket Bingo!



Personally, it may well be that JKR came to that understanding as the storyline progressed over the seventeen years it's been aborning. Authors often speak of their characters having a 'free will' that precludes specific desired actions by the authors and which require the adaptation of the author to the character. Particularly, Dorothy L. Sayers notes this of her characters in the LORD PETER WIMSEY series. And we know that JKR likes DLS.

But for JKR to state such an understanding of her character's "self" does not imply that she gives a seal of approval to all that goes by that designation in anyone else's definition of what constitutes that "self". If it had been pertinent to the story line - and it is the delimitation of the modern obsession with sexual antics that her story line is most notable for by example (snogging as publically ridiculous) and by omission (none of the main characters are gratingly graphically so engaged) - she would have to have included it. It seems an afterthought.

Lest anyone say I am being too kind because of my great love for the HP series, I must add that to have revealed Albus Dumbledore in all of his mistakes and errors and Machiavellianness in DEATHLY HALLOWS and then make this revelation is not, to my mind, a resounding approval. Yet the positives of heterosexuality are amply displayed in multiple familial settings (even, yech!, the Malfoys! ... just how did little Draco get to be? ... don't go there!).

And this certainly didn't fit the speculations that specific characters might be gay : Lupin, Lockhart, etc.

Probably will spin off a rather tawdry round of fanfic, though!


You will find this essay of interest. It is about the fact that as entertaining as authorial comments may be, the canon is what matters.

http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/200...han-the-author/
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#15
Niphredil Wrote:Yes, I am aware of that. I made no claims to the contrary. And yet I'm confused... you said: "Voldemort's covet gayness is a distinct possibility, in view of the lack of romance in his biography."

So... are you asserting that the "lack of romance" was because he was gay? That gay people therefore do not have romance? Please clarify this for me; your statements seem to be in conflict.

If somebody is covetly gay, it is normally difficult or impossible to discern whether they are in a relationship and if so with whom. So if somebody who is seen to never be in any sort of relationship this, it would seem to me, is because

1) that person is not interested in relationships, ie, believes in celibacy.
2) or, that person wants to have but is unable to get a relationship
3) or that person is having a relationship or even several but is keeping these secret, for example because the person is gay and doesn't want to be recognised as such (of course this is only one of many possible reasons)

1) often reflects high moral or even priestlike standards. This is not really applicable to Voldemort.
2) probably reflects that the person is a "looser". Voldemort wasn't. On the contarry, he was very good at making people doi what he wanted. Getting some sort of relationship wouldn't have been impossible for him.
3) which leaves (3) as a possible, but by no means certain explanantion.


Niphredil Wrote:I made no such claim and I hold no such belief. I'm positively disgusted that anyone would even ask me that.

I merely thought that, had Voldemort had any interest in either sex, it would "open up the possibility" that he could love another person. Not that it would but that it could. I should have mentioned, as RobRoy pointed out to me (and, in case you missed it, I agreed with him), that Voldemort more likely had unhealthy, abusive sexual relationships with other people, if he had any sexual relationships at all.

True, but Voldemort was also very much into styling himself and reaping admiration. he liked gathering his buddies around him and showing off. He could also have flaunted his relationships if he had any, unless for any reason he didn't want people to know the truth about these, for example because he was gay and didn't want the truth to be known - for example because his supporters were mostly conservative types who wouldn't have liked that.
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#16
shadowfax Wrote:He could also have flaunted his relationships if he had any, unless for any reason he didn't want people to know the truth about these, for example because he was gay and didn't want the truth to be known - for example because his supporters were mostly conservative types who wouldn't have liked that.

There is no position in the books taken regarding gay or straight characters and how the Potterverse views such, so the concept of Voldemort being gay and needing to hide it doesn't hold.

Voldemort might have viewed a personal relationship (gay or straight) as a weakness, or one that could be exploited and thus hidden or never had one. That aspect is certainly within the canon and themes of the book.
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#17
RobRoy Wrote:Really? I could be monumentally naive, but the manner in which the information was released (in response to a specific question) and the current status of the book, and Rowlings' subsequent bank account, seem to suggest against.

Why bring it up at all, then?

Quote:What would be the point of a "headline-grabbing publicity stunt"?
I dunno, maybe she enjoys the spotlight. Maybe she was bored and wanted to see what would happen. Maybe she thinks it'll cause the gay community to rush out and buy all the books. I don't really care either way, it just seems like there must be some motive, cause from what I've heard, this new information is completely irrelevant to the series.
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#18
Boomstick Wrote:I dunno, maybe she enjoys the spotlight. Maybe she was bored and wanted to see what would happen. Maybe she thinks it'll cause the gay community to rush out and buy all the books. I don't really care either way, it just seems like there must be some motive, cause from what I've heard, this new information is completely irrelevant to the series.

I think it shows that she has thought about all her characters to a great extent and got their biographies mapped out in much greater detail than the narrative requires. Thus shows her characters are somehow "real" for her. This can only be a good thing. One of the things she gets accused of by her critics is being too allegoric. In an allegory, characters often exist only for the purpose of illustrating a point and their depth doesn't go beyond that. This sort of revelation saves her from that accusation - or if you're a cynic you might possibly think (and I disagree with this last point before anybody starts flaming me over it) she's intentionally thrown this in to ward off such accusations.
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#19
I think that she should have been non-committal. Sometimes there is TMI. Declaring Dumbledore gay places limits on him, where leaving his sexual orientation unspecified let people believe as they liked.
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#20
Boomstick Wrote:Why bring it up at all, then?

The context we're given is that she was asked a direct question regarding an aspect of the movie script, and responded to it.

Quote:I don't really care either way, it just seems like there must be some motive, cause from what I've heard, this new information is completely irrelevant to the series.

So the concept that she was simply being truthful in her response doesn't play with you? There must be some baser motive?

Again, I may be monumentally naive about this, but the "revelation" seems reasonably straight-forward as she was asked a question, knows her characters, and responded to the question. The "uproar" over the incident is only fueled because our society, especially the American society, is so bent out of shape regarding the question of sexuality. If Rowlings had revealed that Dumbledore enjoyed the Muggle television series "Friends" the discussion of that aspect might have proved interesting, but only amongst the fans.

It's only because sexuality is such a hot-button topic that anyone at all is up in arms one way or the other.

Arcadia Wrote:I think that she should have been non-committal. Sometimes there is TMI. Declaring Dumbledore gay places limits on him, where leaving his sexual orientation unspecified let people believe as they liked.

I don't know that it places any limits on him, but I generally agree that no one would have cared one way or the other if she had never stated. However, most authors know their characters in much deeper ways than their audience ever needs to be concerned with, and certain aspects of that, though not wholly or even peripherally revealed to the audience, does impact choices and outcomes. To that end, I don't think that Rowling made this up ex post facto. I assume she either knew it from the first writing of the character, or came across it at some point before the completion.
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