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  #1  
Old October 20th, 2007, 5:49 pm
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Homosexuality in Harry Potter

In light of JK Rowling's recent revelation concerning Albus Dumbledore's sexuality, I am opening up a general thread for the debate of homosexuality as a whole in the HP world. Before this revelation, the topic of homosexuality was treated very much as a non-issue. People's prejudice got in the way of a good discussion and as there was really no evidence in the novels, many argued it wasn't relevant. Well, now that's all changed.

If you wish to discuss Dumbledore's character, you can do so in Albus Dumbledore: Character Analysis v2. Other aspects of his character may be discussed as well.

If you wish to discuss his relationship with Grindelwald, you can do so here.

The aim of this discussion is to see how prevalent homosexuality is in Harry's world, how important an issue it is to the world at large and whether there are other characters we can speculate might be gay. It is not a debate on the nature of homosexuality. I have asked some questions below, which you may wish to answer.


1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?


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This thread, nay, this forum will not tolerate homophobia or Dumbledore bashing. Whether you agree or not with homosexuality is not the topic here. Members who choose to dispense with the hate and the nastiness will get a one-way ticket to bansville.


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  #2  
Old October 20th, 2007, 5:54 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
Does it really change anything?
I think of all the questions you posted this is the most important and my answer would be a resounding no, it doesn't change anything. If anything it mankes several Dumbledore related plot lines make a lot more sense, particularly why he took so long in going after Grindlewald which also leads onto why he was so trustworthy of Snape because he knew first hand how influential love can be on someones decisions.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:00 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?
It changes nothing for me. The fact that he was gay may explains things, but it doesn't change my view on Dumbledore. I wasn't surprised at all.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?
I am not sure. A lot of people claim Remus and Sirius to be gay, but as both showed interest in girls I am not believing in that. From the main characters nobody except Dumbledore showed hints to be gay or bi IMO.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

I am not sure I understand what you are trying to get at.

Anyway, I don't think that there's a difference between Muggle World and Wizard World in case of supporting, detesting or tolerating homosexuality. There are surely prejudices and discriminations in the magical world as well.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:01 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Right now, these are the only questions I can answer:

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

I strongly disagree with the first part of this question. It does not add a new dimension to his character. I mean, it is not like JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore was a Death Eater playing us all. It doesn't change anything. Sure, it explains why he didn't have a family outside his immediate family. It explains a bit more into his friendship with Grindlewald, but not that much. I am sure it broke his heart when he realized Grindlewald became a terrible person. But it doesn't change anything. It wasn't a factor in the story, or else it would have been announced a long time ago.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

I have always thought that Colin Creevey might have been gay, and not just a fanboy towards Harry Potter. Both Ginny and Colin had something in common, I think. They both loved Harry Potter. But this is my opinion.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:10 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Personally, this revelation makes it all the more amazing that Albus Dumbledore made it this far.

Remember, his infatuation with Gellert Grindelwald lasted only a few months before the untimely death of Ariana, Albus' younger sister. Albus likely blamed that tragedy on Gellert, and as a result there was a major falling out of the relationship that eventually led to that famous duel in 1945.

Because that relationship ended so horribly, Dumbledore likely took a vow of abstinance, and from "reading between the lines" of Rita Skeeter's biography from Deathly Hallows tells me he never engaged in another homosexual relationship. It is this very sordid past that explains why he never took the job of Minister of Magic (even though he was offered the job multiple times), because Dumbledore's sordid past would become public and that would end up forcing him out of office in very short order. He felt a lot safer being Headmaster at Hogwarts, where people far less likely find out about that past.

If you look at the way Dumbledore treated Harry Potter, note that it looks like a "normal" father-son relationship; this means Dumbledore was doing as much as possible to live down the tragedies of his younger years.


  #6  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:12 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

I really don't care, but I just don't think Dumbledore and Grindelwald would do that. Maybe Dumbledore and someone else, just not Dumbledore and Grindelwald. I think Grindelwald is more likely to, but that's just me. Dumbledore is much more rule abiding, and i'm not sure about the magical world, but homosexuality is something most people don't like and are prejudiced against. Grindelwald is the one who got expelled from Hogwarts, so he seems to not care about what others think and definitely not much for rules.

1. I am definitely surprised. I'm kind of against homosexuality, kind of, but I try hard not to be, it's really no wonder some people are sexist racist etc. when it's something that most of your society is against, it's hard to be different, prejudice is something you sort of pick up from others. but when it comes to Dumbledore, it doesn't change a thing. He is still one of my favorite characters, and if he is homosexual, it just makes him just as interesting.

2. You never know, but I'm not too sure there is anyone i can pinpoint as being homosexual (this includes male or female, the title, after all, is homosexuality and not gayness or something). On a side note, there is a youtube video, just type in gay harry potter, i'm not too sure its appropriate for this site, but it is funny and kind of relates to this thread. Either way, for some reason, Crabbe and Goyle just seem to be gay to me, they just spend so much time together and seem so similar.

3. I don't know much about medival stuff, but the wizarding world seems to be a bit more old fashioned than ours, so that's my take on if they would be a bit more open minded or not. I really don't think it's an issue or magical or anything like that.

4. I don't think homosexuality is that big of an issue compared to things like blood status in the wizarding world.


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  #7  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:13 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

Yes, I was surprised that Jo said it. It doesn't change anything in the plot, of course, but it does change some of my interpretations, and it provides more angles from which to look at his actions. As Jo herself said, his love for Grindelwald could explain further his fascination with the ideas he embraced in his youth, and can make him a little less guilty, so to speak - because he was blinded by his love. It also provides another explanation on why he didn't confront Grindelwald sooner; and it also offers new possibilities on how their duel went - because Rita Skeeter suggested it wasn't really a duel, so now I believe her more than before I knew they were former lovers.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

No, because there;s nothing on page to indicate it, as far as I've seen. To me, Dumbledore wasn't gay until today either.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

No. I didn't see anything of the sort in the books. On the contrary, attraction was the same thing that we have in the real world.

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

I have no idea, really. I think the wizarding world would have some issues as we do, some unaccepting fractions of society - they did have gender discrimination at one point, too - but I can't be sure, as we don't have any indication about it in the novels.

All in all, I am very happy about the revelation, because wehave yet another tragic love story, and a very grand one, at that!


  #8  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:18 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

While it adds a new dimension to Dumbledore´s character, in that we now know of his sexual orientation, it does not change anything about the character himself or the story. Dumbledore is still the same Dumbledore, the wise, powerful old wizard, headmaster and Harry´s mentor/manipulator we met in six books with some backstory as to his youth and mistakes he made provided in book 7. Now we know he felt attracted to men, that does not really change anything about his character and why should it. And it does not have an influence on the story.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

That´s pure speculation. To be honest, apart from our main four, whose romances were openly developed onpage, I did not give the other characters´s preferences much thought.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

No, I don´t think it is implied in the books that in the Wizarding World issues like attraction or sexuality are viewed differently than the Muggle world. If I understand this question correctly that is. I think witches and wizards experience falling in love, romance, relationships as well as the physical expression of it like muggles do.

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

I think blood status made a big difference for some people and the cynic in me would imagine some people will not be any wiser after Voldermort´s downfall either. Since homosexuality as such has never been an issue in the books - as in we don´t see any openly homosexual couples - we can´t say if it would make an additional difference for the Wizarding World. I imagine it would be like in the muggle world, for some people it´s not a big deal, or better, no deal at all, some decline it.


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  #9  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:18 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

It may add a new dimension to his character, but in my opinion, it doesn't really change the story. Neither does it change my opinion of him. I feel it makes his character more understandable and more real. But, in the whole scope of the story, Dumbledore being gay doesn't change much.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

I had always thought that Snape might be, until the 7th book at least. It's hard to think that now.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

I feel that in the wizarding world, the orientation of a person isn't as big of an issue as it may or may not be to people in this world. It may be because being magical, they can believe anything is true and real, like being inherently interested in the same sex. But also, I think that they may just hold less prejudice about the idea of homosexuality, and who others love is not a concern of theirs. This, I guess, could be the result of the Magical World believing that is IS magical, or maybe knowing that it is not something an individual chooses.


  #10  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:20 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?
I was not surprised at all. I have long thought this after reading DH. What I was surprised about was that Jo confirmed it. I think now that it is confirmed it also adds a whole new spectrum to the books and another aspect of "love".

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?
It's possible. But, I can't really say who or why I feel that way. There are some characters that I wouldn't be surprised were gay or even bi.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?
Good question. If this were the case then I would have to say that I am disappointed that we never saw an actual gay couple. Finding out after the books are done is one thing, but reading it in the actual books is totally different.

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?
I think the blood purity was the overall issue. I don't think a character's sexual preferance would make a difference.


  #11  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:28 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. I think I was more surprised to hear that JK Rowling announced he was gay than the fact itself. Even though you hardly read anything in the books about Dumbledore's orientation, the hints that he didn't have any other family than his immediate one, and that he believed in love makes some suggestions. I don't think it really changed anything, though, it just added some more information.

2. Colin, maybe, but I think Dumbledore was the only one i thought could be gay

3. Hard to tell. I was thinking they'd be slightly more accepting, being accepting of Muggles, despite the fact that they didn't have magic in their blood.

4. I don't think it was really that big of a deal (if it had been explicit in the books, which it wasn't). Although Dark wizards like Voldemort may have been against it, I don't think it would have mattered if you were gay, just as long as you could do magic. It could have caused problems, but no where as many as the question of blood purity.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:29 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

The only explicit mention of homosexuality in the books is Dudley's line, "Who's Cedric, your boyfriend?"

Rowling said that Dumbledore had an attraction for Grindelwald but did not say that Grindelwald returned the feelings. I think that Grindelwald did not have the same feelings for Dumbledore and possibly was actually straight but let Dumbledore think he was gay and available to gain his trust and pick Dumbledore's brain on magical matters.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:35 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Quote:
Originally Posted by unconvinced View Post
I think of all the questions you posted this is the most important and my answer would be a resounding no, it doesn't change anything. If anything it mankes several Dumbledore related plot lines make a lot more sense, particularly why he took so long in going after Grindlewald which also leads onto why he was so trustworthy of Snape because he knew first hand how influential love can be on someones decisions.
you took the words right out of my mouth.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:41 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

I've always pictured the Wizarding world as pretty much similar to our, but with magic. Meaning, like our world, there are gay people, and people who are intolerant towards them. The fact that Dumbledore is gay doesn't change my view of him all that much-it just gives me new information on him.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:42 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
Does it really change anything?
It changes how I feel about the story and the world JKR created. To the better.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?
Oh well, now we're allowed to speculate....
Colin Creevey
Charlie Weasley (out of pure statistics, he's the only Weasley who has never had a opposed sex relationship)
Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin: Bi. Cause that would be cute and specially Tonks strikes me that way
Hmm, did anybody see something going on between McGonagall and Sprout?
As for others, I guess there can be many, like in the muggle world. We don't really have many hints so it would always stay in pure speculation


More on this later


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:45 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

I was surprised, but I suppose that was because I had never given Dumbledore's sexuality much though, not because I thought he was definitely straight. It doesn't change anything about the plot of the book, but I think the fact that JKR had included this will change the way people look at the books. I've always thought they say a lot more about social injustice in the real world than many give them credit for, and now, because homosexuality is such a divisive issue in our own culture, people cannot ignore the anti-discrimination message of the series. What I'm afraid of, however, is that people will jump to conclusions and read ulterior motives into Dumbledore's actions in the books and try to negate his goodness and significance. This is exactly the opposite, I am sure, of JKR's intentions. Her making one of the most powerful figures a gay man who is in no way stereotypical will hopefully begin to chip away at common prejudices, not reinforce them.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

I'm very interested in Sirius and his feelings for James. I've always felt there's more there than we ever get to see, and though he may or may not have been sexually attracted to James, I think there's definitely a measure of ambiguity.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

I'm not entirely sure what this question means, but I'll give it a go. I think that sex and sexuality are understood the same way in the magical world as we Muggles see it, which means different people think different things. Considering the great import of sex/sexuality in our society, I can't imagine that it's a "non-issue" here. Dumbledore, for example, does not seem to have been openly gay. Why would this be if it were not important? One could argue this is because of the shame of being associated with Grindelwald, but I think it's more than that.

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

I think in the series JKR includes forms of discrimination that we are familiar with but downplays them in favor of blood-purity. I think the point here is to demonstrate how damaging such prejudice and hatred can be. By taking this out of a familiar context, it is easier for readers to spot the flaws in a bigoted ideology and later extend this new consciousness to the real world. That said, I think issues like sex, sexuality, race, class, age, etc. are all present and do affect how people view each other. JKR doesn't dissect these dynamics very much, but rather sets the example and allows readers to do the work themselves.


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  #17  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:45 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

I was surprised only that Jo left no room for doubt about his sexuality. Dumbledore's back story makes more sense if he is gay.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

I think Grindelwald probably reciprocated his feelings, at least to some extent. However, I think his evilness issues put a damper on his ability to have a meaningful long-term relationship. Other than that, no one comes to mind immediately.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

The only examples we have seen of magic inducing attraction involve love potions, such as when Ron accidentally ate the chocolate cauldrons spiked with Romilda Vane's love potion. I think that the reasons for true attraction in the magical world are as mysterious and irrational as in the real world (just look at Remus and Tonks).

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at with this question. My hunch is that different people within the magical world have different ideas about homosexuality just as they have different ideas about blood status. Among pure-blood families who care about blood status, I would also expect there to be prejudice against open homosexuality, because such a union would not produce heirs.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:55 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?
I guess I was surprised, but it doesn't change anything. Dumbledore was a wise old person and him being gay doesn't change anything.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?
I'd love a Sirius/Remus story... That'd be great

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?
"Chemical attraction", no. Wizards do not do chemistry. [I wanna be a wizard *^*] But to make a love potion, doesn't at least ONE wizard have to understand the how, why and what of love?

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?
... I hoped wizards were intelligent enough to put aside the 'gay-bad' image. If not then ... Being Muggle-born would be worse than being gay, I think.


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Old October 20th, 2007, 6:55 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

1. The fact that Dumbledore is gay adds a whole new dimension to his character and to the story. Were you surprised? Does it really change anything?

It doesn't change anything for me. I'm a bit surprised because I myself never saw him as gay, but it doesn't really matter. His character is still the same.

I'm acutally far more surprised that JKR outed him. I mean, there already was trouble because some people supposed Harry's gay. I wonder what's going to happen now that we know that DD is.

2. Do you believe we have met any other characters in the story that might be gay?

I don't know, possibly. The majority of characters seem to end up in straight relationships. And with those we don't know much about anything is possible because there's no evidence either way. We don't know wether Neville ever marries, but I don't like the idea that being gay is the only reason for not getting married.

3. Do you believe that the Magical World has a more well-developed understanding of "chemical attraction" and thus negating any issue of sexuality? In other words, physical attraction is more than simply genetics, but could in fact be magical and therefore a non issue?

Again difficult to tell because no-one ever talks about it in HP. Personally I don't see the Wizarding world as being considerably more advanced than muggles when it comes to social issues, so I would be surprised if they were much more accepting of homosexuality than muggles.

4. The issue of a wizard's/witch's blood status was a major cause of indifference before Voldemort's downfall. With that in mind, would being gay make much of a difference or is it simply who you are born to that makes the big difference?

Considering the issue of blood status, I guess that every pureblood wizard and witch who cares about blood purity would definitely get married and procreate with another pureblood no matter what their sexuality. But that would have nothing to do with their view of homosexuality, only with the need to keep their blood line alive.

However, that blood status is a much bigger issue in the Wizarding world than homosexualtiy doesn't mean that it's acceptable, I think. For all we know it may well be that nobody fights about homosexuality because the entire Wizarding world agrees that it's wrong. I don't hope so, but it's possible. Or maybe they just find blood status the more pressing issue.


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  #20  
Old October 20th, 2007, 6:55 pm
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Re: Homosexuality in Harry Potter

As for Colin beeing gay, I always viewed his behaviour as typical fangirling/boying behaviour, that the was attached to Harry, because he was kinda a celeb and not because he had sexual feelings for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyPotter View Post
Rowling said that Dumbledore had an attraction for Grindelwald but did not say that Grindelwald returned the feelings. I think that Grindelwald did not have the same feelings for Dumbledore and possibly was actually straight but let Dumbledore think he was gay and available to gain his trust and pick Dumbledore's brain on magical matters.
I agree with you. We don't even know if Grindelwald knew of Dumbledore's feelings and sexuality.


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