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Old 10-23-2007, 10:52 PM   #161
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Coincidentally, while reading this thread, a clip of Rowling's Toronto appearance from earlier today came on the news. There was a press conference, and then a book reading and Q&A for fans (which I tried to win tickets to but didn't - boo! ), and she addressed the Dumbledore issue. Parts of the press conference can be found in this article:

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/269527

Quote:
On Tuesday, the author said she knew "very early on" in the writing process that Dumbledore was gay, but didn't feel the need to spell it out for readers.

The Dumbledore bombshell has stunned Potter fans around the world and left many wondering why Rowling waited until the conclusion of her seven-book series to reveal the sexuality of the Hogwarts headmaster.

Asked about the timing of her revelation, Rowling said: "I was asked a very direct question at Carnegie Hall."

The U.K.-based author, stylishly dressed in a brown dress and matching boots, grew impatient with reporters who pressed her on the issue, saying she didn't feel the need to be explicit about Dumbledore's sexual preferences because she wanted to focus on character development.

"If you were an author then you would understand that when you write the ending it comes at the end," she said.

Dumbledore, Rowling has now revealed, was once in love with the dark wizard Grindelwald, something that some canny Potter fans had long suspected.

"The plot is what it is," said Rowling. "(Dumbledore) did have, as I say, this rather tragic infatuation, but that was a key part of the ending of the story so there it is. Why would I put the key part of my ending of my story in Book 1?"

Rowling said Tuesday she found it "freeing" to out Dumbledore, adding that the passages about him will mean different things to different readers.

"I think a child will see a friendship and I think a sensitive adult may well understand that it was an infatuation," she said.
Not included in this article, but from the news clip I just viewed, she was also asked why she chose to comment on Dumbledore's sexuality, besides the obvious "answering a question." She replied, quite bluntly, "he's my character, and I can think and say whatever I want about him."

Good for her. I've always found her endearingly frank and open in interviews, or when interacting with fans.

Also, I just found a transcript from when the fan asked Jo to elabourate on Dumbledore's brother and the goat. She didn't ignore the question, as someone posted earlier. Here is how the exchange went:

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FAN: In the Goblet of Fire Dumbledore said his brother was prosecuted for practicing inappropriate charms [JKR buries her head, to laughter] on a goat; what were the inappropriate charms he was practicing on that goat?

JKR: How old are you?

FAN: Eight.

JKR: I think that he was trying to make a goat that was easy to keep clean [laughter], curly horns. That's a joke that works on a couple of levels. I really like Aberforth and his goats. But you know Aberforth having this strange fondness for goats if you've read book seven, came in really useful to Harry, later on, because a goat, a stag, you know. If you're a stupid Death Eater, what's the difference. So, that is my answer to YOU.

[loud applause]
She's awesome.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:04 PM   #162
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OK... I read up to page 9 of this thread & then I just couldn't take it anymore.

Am I the only one scratching my head over why this is an issue at all??? We're talking about a fictional character in a series that's over...finished...done...kaput....

(Sorry, HP fans... you may want to look away now.) What does it matter? Dumbledore doesn't exist!
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:11 PM   #163
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

The difference between the Latino characters someone mentioned and this move by JK Rowling is that the first one looks a little more legitimate, more honest, if you will, whereas Dumbledore being gay seems out of the blue and with nothing to do in the books. I know it's a huge assumption to think this way, but there was no reason for her to add this little "footnote" besides her trying to pick a side in the whole homosexuality vrs. tolerance battle. That's what I'm against. Not being sincere about something and using it to further your political views and above all, using children's books to do it.

My posts have not been against homosexuality itself. They have been against the unnecessary inclusion of a political stance in something that was just as good without it.
Everything she has said to this point indicates that this has always been a facet of this character of hers, it was not just thrown out there to pander to liberal political correctness. So either you'll have to drop your objection, or admit that you don't believe her, if that really is in fact your only objection.

I don't see any reason not to believe her; in fact, I think it's very cynical not to. It's her character, she created him, so she's sort of the boss of him, in my view - what she says goes.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:46 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy



My posts have not been against homosexuality itself. They have been against the unnecessary inclusion of a political stance in something that was just as good without it.


so the mere depiction of a gay character is a political statement?

you know, i might be inclined to agree with you, though i don't think Rowling gave this the political ramifications the slightest bit of thought.

it becomes political, you see, when people like you complain about it and thusly think that it's political or evidence of an agenda. for everyone else, it's merely a reflection of what life is like -- that life is filled with people of all different shapes and sizes.

i just find it sad that the depiction of difference is somehow controversial. but when there are political forces that would see to it that every character in fiction is a perfect reflection of the word as the wish it to be, and that the government is a perfect reflections of whatever subjective values they might hold, then i suppose we can't get away from the fact that it's not the character who's political, it's you.

and, yes, once upon a time someone would have said exactly what you said. only replace the word gay with "black" or "latin" or "jewish."
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:48 PM   #165
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No, mateship does not imply homosexuality.


the Aussie i dated, briefly, had interesting things to say about mateship and being gay.

but that's for another time.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:08 AM   #166
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Hmmm. . .

Well, I think Brown-Eyed Boy's view is more nuanced than he's being given credit for. I understand the objection to stories where the "agenda" or the "message" supercedes the importance of the story itself, of being true to itself and to it's characters. A lot of. . .well, actually maybe most, Christian fiction falls into this sad trap. And I would argue that violating the integrity of storytelling for the sake of making your point is not wrong only when you're pushing an "anti-abortion agenda" but okay when you're pushing a "tolerance" agenda. Obviously lots of great literature has an "agenda". . .it's often referred to as a theme, actually, but it never compromises the integrity of the story or it's characters.

However, I continue to strongly disagree with him that this is what has happened in Harry Potter.

Point 1: If Rowling had wanted to push an agenda, she would have done so much more blatantly throughout the book.

Point 2: She revealed this information about Dumbledore when asked, not as part of some grand sweeping gesture. I think his assumption that she just arbitrairly "decided" this about Dumbledore in order to be PC betrays a real lack of knowledge about how writers (especially one of the talent and skill of JK Rowling) work as a well a kind of illogic, as it's already been pointed out that if she wanted to push an agenda this would not be the way to go about it. To be honest, I think Browned Eyed Boy might be missing out on a lot of depth and multiple layers of meaning to be found in Harry Potter, just based on his take on this.

If I find anything offensive about Brown-Eyed's take on this it would be this: The implication that "Look, gays are okay and fine and they should be treated the same as anybody else, so can we shut up about it now? Can they stop pushing for more rights and stuff. We like them already, geez. . " That's what I'm reading in his concerns and it sounds very familiar because I often hear this same attitude coming from white people about African Americans. "Gosh, slavery is over. You can use the same bathroom as me. I have black friends. Can we just be done with the whole agenda business and all the political agitationg?" In that regard, you might say he's almost "ahead of his time" because that's the kind of subtle prejudice usually appears after the battle is supposedly "won." And it seems to be there's still a long way to go before such "impatience" would come into play.

Brown Eyed-Boy if you'd like an example of what a book look likes that IS pushing agenda take a look at my blog www.maycockmediamix.blogspot.com and scroll down until you find the review for the pamphlet-disguised-as-novel "The Atonement Child."
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:13 AM   #167
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I really suspect JK Rowling may be absolutely brilliant and that in 50 years these books will be children's lit classics. . .

But. If anyone were to accuse Rowling of pandering, it would have to be in pandering to the very folks who are all bent out of shape about this revelation. After all, she knew from early on that he was gay and chose to HIDE it. Pandering? Maybe, maybe not. But certainly more likely in that direction than the other.

Consider her response: "If I had known how happy you would be, I would have said something earlier. . ." or something to that affect.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:18 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
The difference between the Latino characters someone mentioned and this move by JK Rowling is that the first one looks a little more legitimate, more honest, if you will, whereas Dumbledore being gay seems out of the blue and with nothing to do in the books. I know it's a huge assumption to think this way, but there was no reason for her to add this little "footnote" besides her trying to pick a side in the whole homosexuality vrs. tolerance battle. That's what I'm against. Not being sincere about something and using it to further your political views and above all, using children's books to do it.
I'm sorry, but what?? This "move" by the author? She was asked a question, and she answered it. You talk as if she held a press conference to announce that one of her characters was gay.

And would you care to explain how answering a question amounts to insincerity and furthering her "political" views? (though I wasn't aware that accepting people as they are was a political view)
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:22 AM   #169
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


I do think it may be unfortunately to think so - but I would honestly not trust my son to be mentored by a homosexual man.
Oh please.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:38 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




and given the fact that most molestation happens at the hands of a heterosexual male
not to mention by pastors and other church clergy....oh, and not's also forget that most sexual assaults involve a family member.
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Old 10-24-2007, 07:54 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy


I don't mind your comments at all, I hope you know, I even encourage you to speak your exact mind as you have because only through complete honesty will we have an ideal forum. So don't worry about calling my posts stupid. You are entitled to your opinion as much as I am.
It's cool that you don't mind, but the problem is that it still breaks the rules. Anyone who makes such a comment will have to be reprimanded, we can't pick and choose based on who will truly take it personally or not.

If somebody thinks what another person posts is stupid, it's best to just put the insults aside and simply state why you disagree with that person. Some people (not necessarily you) seem to act like the mods treat this place like it's Romper Room because we want things all friendly and nice, but I just think that everybody here should be able to conduct themselves in a mature, decent manner.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:00 AM   #172
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
I can't quite fathem the depths of BrownEyedBoys stupidity. And I know saying that is probably borderline for trouble as per the rules here, but it's in response to logic like this: If a character is gay, it's part of a political agenda. If a character is black, it's only as a token. But if a character is Latino, it's because that reflects society. BrownEyedBoys posts in this thread are, quite frankly, the most fucking ridiculous things I've read in months, here or anywhere. And to be honest, if there's one singular attitude or type of person or agenda even that I hope my kids are never, ever influenced by, it is the one that is most likely lurking behind those comments and beliefs.
Is the above quote.....offensive?
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:47 AM   #173
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I am struggling to understand how Dumbledore being gay is a political agenda. So should all children's reading material be sanitized versions of unreality? Frankly I think fairy tales might be harmful as far as gender roles-then again it's just a fairy tale. Or is it a political agenda? There are gay people in the world-are there knights in shining armor who will save us from ourselves with a glass slipper?
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:03 AM   #174
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

I do understand that it seems biased when I say that the incidence of a black person in a movie as a token, and the appereance of a latino person as a result of society's evolution, and on the opposite end a gay character as part of a political agenda.

The difference between these three apearances is in the way that these characters are presented. The token black guy is visible in Abercrombie and Fitch ads where the lone african american model sticks out like a sore thumb. You can tell right away that the creators of these ads included him to be politically correct. I'm against this just as much.
What?! So because it's only one black person, it's trying to be PC, but if it was more it wouldn't be? How do you know this isn't being accurate as far as the American population?

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

When someone mentioned the Latino occurence that's been growing lately, I immediately thought of George Lopez's sitcom, don't ask me why. And it just seems like a totally different and natural approach in presenting someone who just so happens to be a minority.
Um, ever heard of one of the most popular and longer running shows 'The Cosby Show', or was this a PC move as well?

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

The difference between the Latino characters someone mentioned and this move by JK Rowling is that the first one looks a little more legitimate, more honest, if you will, whereas Dumbledore being gay seems out of the blue and with nothing to do in the books. I know it's a huge assumption to think this way, but there was no reason for her to add this little "footnote" besides her trying to pick a side in the whole homosexuality vrs. tolerance battle. That's what I'm against. Not being sincere about something and using it to further your political views and above all, using children's books to do it.
This is a horrible assumption. Your posts are just filled with blind bias and misinformation. I give up.

Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

My posts have not been against homosexuality itself. They have been against the unnecessary inclusion of a political stance in something that was just as good without it.
I have a real hard time believing your posts aren't born out of homophobia when you say the character is tainted, and mention "take it like a man". Your posts have been laced with bigotry. Just the fact alone that you think someone's sexuality is "just a political stance" is misguided, the only people that make it a political stance are those that think it's wrong. Children wouldn't care. And you keep saying it would be "just as good without it", would TV be just as good if it was still white bread America? I guess we should just go back to placing all minorities back in the closet, all the tokens back in our pocket, and just leave them quiet, for our society is just as good without them.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:05 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Frankly I think fairy tales might be harmful as far as gender roles-then again it's just a fairy tale. Or is it a political agenda? There are gay people in the world-are there knights in shining armor who will save us from ourselves with a glass slipper?
I think the fairy tales could be seen as being harmful in some ways, such as the knight in shining armor theory (there was in fact an entire book on the subject I can remember back in the mid 90's, of course I can't remember the name of it), but again, at the end of the day these are just stories for children and I believe there's no real political agenda involved.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:23 AM   #176
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There have actually been academic studies of fairy tales and how they impact girls' views of themselves and males and gender roles. I think I even had a thread here about that once Personally when I was a kid I never thought about it, cause kids don't just like they don't think about Dumbledore being gay. I can look back now and think about it but I'm certainly not traumatized or anything-real life experiences is what "traumatized" me as far as that's concerned, and affected me in positive ways too. Real life experiences will teach kids in a positive way about gay people, so no need to shield them from that or a gay fictional character.

Maybe tons of kids will be in therapy years from now over Dumbledore. "Leave Dumbledore alone" is all I can say, in my crazed Britney fan voice.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:41 AM   #177
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i was reading an article in the WaPo "digest" they give out on the Metro. they were talking about different housing prices in the area, new hot neighborhoods, and then they quoted a man, and then referred to his "partner," James.

i put down the article. it had such a political agenda it pissed me off. why would you have even mentioned that this particular person had a "partner"? why do they have to shove that down my throat? what if i don't want to know someone's sexuality (though i did enjoy the quotes from the married people and their spouses and talk of what worked best when they had kids).

i then burned the newspaper.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:19 PM   #178
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon

What it really comes down to is the fact that all this anti-gay rhetoric is so incredibly nonsensical and illogical that I'm astonished that any fully sentient being can even believe this shit with a straight face. And for me to respond to all of this with the proper level of discourse...I think it would literally take me an entire novel to do it.

And I am, frankly, considering writing it. [/B]
When you do, send me a copy, okay? I'd dearly love to read it.

I've never read the books, though I have seen a couple of the movies. I mean, seriously, Dumbledore's sexuality is really incidental to the point of the books, as far as I can tell, since it's really about Harry Potter's becoming a wizard, and working through whatever kind of problems he has as a teenager, as a wizard, as a human being, not whether the headmaster once had a lover he'd had to kill because the man was evil. The fact that people are having hysterics about this minor point when there are much larger things to worry about astounds me. Are people really this bored in their lives that some fictional guy who's gay in a book that isn't even about him is frightening?

There are better things to expend your energy on, people. Like molestation by, of all things, clergy (you know, those fine, upstanding (I can't help but giggle) men who are supposed to lead one to God?) - who, if I get my religious history and all that right, are supposed to be the very people you're supposed to trust the most.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:28 PM   #179
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JK could have handled this one better, and probably in the end shoot herself in the foot.
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:31 PM   #180
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Originally posted by U2girl
JK could have handled this one better, and probably in the end shoot herself in the foot.


what is there to handle?

she gave the backstory on a character.

i'm so sick of this. people who have a problem with this need to grow up.

honestly.
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