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Dumbledore Comes Out



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  #1  
Old December 22nd, 2007, 7:25 pm
blaqlives  Female.gif blaqlives is offline
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Dumbledore Comes Out

Discussion of the editorial Dumbledore Comes Out by Leah G.


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  #2  
Old December 23rd, 2007, 9:41 am
embememu  Undisclosed.gif embememu is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

That was quite a good editorial. The only reason I'm not sure JK Rowling should have mentioned him being gay is because of the media reaction. Dumbledore's sexuality is really only a small aspect of his complex personality, and his wisdom and kindness to others are more important in the books. It didn't affect how I viewed Dumbledore, yet the media acted like it was a huge thing. They kinda made people forget about the character they already knew because they were so obsessed with thinking "omg he's gay!". (not sure if any of that made sense, but oh well.)
I actually feel very sorry for Dumbledore. He must have been pretty lonely all his life, and couldn't be with the person he loved. It's very like the Snape scenario...


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Old December 23rd, 2007, 6:40 pm
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

I pretty much agree. I just don't like how it's being inferred that it's this huge love thing and he's never been the same because of it or whatever. I'm totally supportive of him being gay, but the relationship with Grindelwald only lasted for two months! When he was eighteen! One of the great things about humans is our ability to adapt. We move on. I think the whole deal with there only being one person you can ever love is just rubbish. I'm sure Dumbledore had other boyfriends.

And I'm sorry if I sound like I'm dissing him or something, but I honestly think that making him heartbroken for the rest of his life because of that one relationship a hundred years ago is demeaning to his character. Whether it's a guy or girl, I think he would have gotten over it.


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  #4  
Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:32 pm
Hermy_  Female.gif Hermy_ is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

That was brilliant! I can't believe how many people are making such a huge deal over his sexual preferance. Thank you for writing this editorial to the world to show that being gay doesn't mean all what it people seem it to be.


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Old December 24th, 2007, 8:40 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Bravo! I hope this editorial dispels and homophobic fears that any Dumbledore detractors might have. I also think it made for an interesting re-read of the books as it throws a slightly different slant on the way I looked at Albus. I think I appreciated him even more than before. Well done....


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  #6  
Old December 24th, 2007, 4:56 pm
T_Brightwater T_Brightwater is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Potterfreak0515, I think Leah's point about Dumbledore finding someone on his own level, for perhaps the only time in his life, means that this was more than a normal infatuation. Possibilities for communication, understanding, intellectual stimulation, and love between equals opened up for him in those two months that never happened again. I can understand how this would have haunted him his whole life. If he had found someone else he could have related to in the same way, maybe he would have "gotten over" at least some of the pain, but he never did.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald make an interesting study in contrasts to Snape and Lily. Snape also chose what he thought he believed in over who he loved, but when the real crisis came, he realized too late that he had made the wrong choice. Whether Dumbledore ever told Snape about Grindelwald or not, this common experience makes Dumbledore's trust in Snape all the more plausible.

If you don't think that a youthful love can change a person's life completely, read Dante's La Vita Nuova and the Divine Comedy.


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Old December 25th, 2007, 1:30 am
LHDervish  Female.gif LHDervish is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

An interesting comparison, one I certainly wasn't think of when I wrote it, but food for thought nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Brightwater View Post
Dumbledore and Grindelwald make an interesting study in contrasts to Snape and Lily. Snape also chose what he thought he believed in over who he loved, but when the real crisis came, he realized too late that he had made the wrong choice. Whether Dumbledore ever told Snape about Grindelwald or not, this common experience makes Dumbledore's trust in Snape all the more plausible.

If you don't think that a youthful love can change a person's life completely, read Dante's La Vita Nuova and the Divine Comedy.


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  #8  
Old December 26th, 2007, 2:59 am
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

I like how DD's situation parallels Snape's situation. Because there is always some parallelism going on in the story. I think there is an underlying message there being given these two situations: the choices you make are powerful, but not as powerful as "love"


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Old December 26th, 2007, 11:12 pm
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Quote:
Dumbledore and Grindelwald make an interesting study in contrasts to Snape and Lily. Snape also chose what he thought he believed in over who he loved, but when the real crisis came, he realized too late that he had made the wrong choice. Whether Dumbledore ever told Snape about Grindelwald or not, this common experience makes Dumbledore's trust in Snape all the more plausible.
Excellent point! Great observation!

As for media coverage and "outrage" - I've seen very little and I do watch the news and I do frequent politically conservative websites. As to the latter, little if anything was said at all, and I was really happy about that.

I think the main reason I dreaded the news about it was that I thought it would just be another thing that conservatives would drone on and on about and give some of them more reason not to like the books, thereby again missing the point of the books in the first place.

I did think of children, too, especially because I have 2 of them, even if they are not of reading age yet. Not in a necessarily negative way, mind you, just what the general impact might be to younger children who have read the books. I didn't think the world was going to end or anything, but I expected that there may just be some kind of impact, both positive and negative. As a parent, you do tend to think of the things they will watch and read, regardless of your political stance or how conservative or liberal you are.

And, the fact is that since homosexuality is not as common in most people's lives, especially children, younger children, upon hearing the news, and not knowing what it meant, would ask questions. Nothing wrong with that and the subject of sex does not necessarily have to be involved in the answer. And every parent's level of comfort in discussing such things varies and I have no problem with acknowledging that even while I may not agree that parents should be so squeamish. I respect the fact that not everyone is as comfortable as I am, even if I don't agree with it.

I also am not a fan of extremism on either end and I feared both extreme conservatism as well as extreme liberalism. While a certain degree of tolerance should always be taught IMHO, some would take it to the extreme and almost take away all parental authority whatsoever on the subject, which is still relevant. Homosexuality, whether we like it or not, is still a touchy subject. Not that it shouldn't be discussed, but I don't think Gay Pride Parades filled with rated XXX behavior is an appropriate way to try to garner tolerance. Just as a Straight Pride Parade with the same behavior would also be inappropriate no matter how "natural" sex is. Again, I'm not saying that EVERYBODY does that, but some do and I find it to be entirely irritating. IMHO, it's mostly done for shock value and serves no legitimate purpose.

Personally, I like the way that the Disney Channel has handled it with the show "JoJo's Circus". A character on that show has 2 daddies, but one is referred to as daddy and the other as "uncle". IMHO, it's a way of showing how all families are not the same, that it's normal, but without bashing anybody over the head with anything political, especially since the audience is made up of pre-schoolers who still eat glue and pick their noses. In other words, if we just treat it like it's normal, without politicizing it either way, then youngsters learn the tolerance. It's a fine line between 2 extremes, but one that I like better.

So, part of my initial reaction was that JKR was doing this for shock value. Believe me, the feeling faded fast, but it was there. It brought to mind the 2nd grade teacher reading the children a story about a prince marrying a prince, which, despite my tolerance, I still find to be objectionable. As I said, homosexuality, whether we like it or not, is a touchy subject and so, IMHO, be so underhanded as to read a story like that (even without the sex) to children at the age of 7, regardless of the good intent, is just wrong. To me, it is still up to the parent when and how to discuss such issues with their children. If we don't still believe in parental authority (even if we disagree with what other parents my teach their children [aside from physical and emotional abuse], then we are headed towards a society no different from the totalitarian ones we usually fight against.

That was just a simple explanation of one parent's reaction to the news. It was my initial reaction, but my overall reaction is a bit of satisfaction but mostly that of indifference. To me, a person's sexuality is their own business and I only care about the content of one's character. I was raised that way from day one and have never deviated from it. I don't see why homosexuals can't get married or adopt children, etc.

In that way, I like the fact that although JKR "felt" that Dumbledore was gay while she was writing the books, that it never was revealed during the story, except to those that could read between the lines (I never deduced him to be gay, although I can say her description of Grindelwald and their relationship did kind of send up some signals). In other words, we were guided to treat Dumbledore as an individual, on the content of his character, rather than on what his sexuality was. This was the part I found satisfying.

My indifference to it is based on the same thing - he's still Dumbledore. I still love the character. My opinion of him has not changed in the least.

Anyway, overall, good editorial. Good points. Well written.


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  #10  
Old December 28th, 2007, 9:58 am
Dania  Female.gif Dania is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Wonderful editorial! I completely agree!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladykrystyna View Post
My indifference to it is based on the same thing - he's still Dumbledore. I still love the character. My opinion of him has not changed in the least.
I agree - except that I think I feel even more sorry for him, he's been so lonely all his life! Interesting to hear about a parent's reaction, having no children of my own yet.

Comparing him and Grindelwald to Snape and Lily, as is done above, is interesting, by the way; though I felt very sorry for Dumbledore, hearing the story of his life in DH, I never cried for him. But hearing Snape's story in that chapter towards the end of DH made me cry more than any other event in the book (except maybe Dobby's death). I think it was because Snape delt so badly and chose to be bitter and resentful while Dumbledore chose to be happy (happier than Snape, anyway).


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  #11  
Old December 31st, 2007, 2:18 am
Freddie437 Freddie437 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

That was a really awesome editorial, and I agree completely.
Also, the mention before of comparing Dumbledore/Grindlewald to Snape/Lily was a very interesting one. I like it. I had been disapointed at first, when that was revealed as being his reason for trusting him, but now that I can see that comparison, it makes it a much more satisfying reason.
I don't remember who it was that said it, that they though Dumbledore probably "had other boyfriends", I don't think so. I don't think he would've ever found another person who could understand him like Grindlewald did. No one else was on his level.


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Old December 31st, 2007, 3:31 am
LHDervish  Female.gif LHDervish is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddie437 View Post
Also, the mention before of comparing Dumbledore/Grindlewald to Snape/Lily was a very interesting one. I like it. I had been disapointed at first, when that was revealed as being his reason for trusting him, but now that I can see that comparison, it makes it a much more satisfying reason.
I agree, the comparison adds another level to his response to Snape, as though it was perhaps the response he would have wanted to see from Grindelwald--changing his path out of love, even if he would never exactly make the moral shift. So sad that he did not live to see Grindelwald's last act of defiance--denying the Elder Wand to Voldemort. But then again, was that act motivated by any feeling for Dumbledore, or the wisdom of age, thinking better of what he'd done? A sign that Voldemort's evil was so extensive it was abhorrent even to Grindelwald? Or, less admirably, jealousy or some other base motivation on Grindelwald's part, not wanting to see himself surpassed? Yet it is possible that finally Grindelwald understood how very much there was in the world to lose besides one's life--an understanding Dumbledore would have treasured.


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  #13  
Old December 31st, 2007, 9:02 pm
JOFAN  Female.gif JOFAN is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Excellent editorial, truly insightful in the ways of the heart vs. head -- I wonder how many people actually get that "one true connection" that will never happen again in their life. You've written the emotional responses very accurately -and logically, a contradiction right there! I agree that the DD/Snape trust reasoning seemed a little thin to me when re-(and re) reading the book. Dumbledore's having been through the decision of heart vs. head and ideals would definately have made him feel more for Snape's decision (and also how to force his (Snape's) hand, so to say, toward making that decision). Excellent job!


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Old December 31st, 2007, 10:22 pm
Lunabell14  Female.gif Lunabell14 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

ok, before I say this, let me just say that I am in no way homophobic. Some of my favorite people are gay, I love watching the (better) Logo movies / shows, and I myself have liked guys and girls.

With that, I'd like to say after the initial shock of hearing Dumbledore was gay, I thought it was cool but for me anyway, it has sort of altered my view of him. The thought of Dumbledore having a love life, with Griendlewald or McGongall or anyone else, is weird.

That and the fact that it's not really at ALL in the books (I sensed more of Doge having a crush on Dumbledore than Dumbledore having a crush on Griendlewald) just bothers me. Either keep it in or not. I don't really care. But having it in a limbo in the books is just annoying.

I know actually putting it in the books could've been dangerous for the book, but then just don't do anything with it.

Actually, my real problem isn't Dumbledore being gay, but her giving so many of these "interviews" that answer some of these questions that are better left to the reader's speculation. I mean, part of the fun of reading is speculating this stuff. You know, one of my favorite corny chick writers, Meg Cabot, has an Ask Meg board on her site where she'll answer some questions but when she gets ones like "what color was Jess's wedding dress", she'll say "I'll leave that up to your imagination" which I wish JKR would do more often (though I will admit some of her answers are interesting).

Anyway, the editorial was well-written and I agree, it is ridiculous that people are making such a huge deal about it. I mean, jeeze, my DAD knows that Dumbledore's gay and he couldn't even recognize who Voldemort was in OOTP (he though it was Lucious). But I do wish that is a question, among some others, she should've left up to the reader's imagination.


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Old January 4th, 2008, 7:48 pm
The_Old_One  Male.gif The_Old_One is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Interestingly, I tend to think that the more we discuss and maintain this issue as top of mind, so to speak, the more opportunity there is for people to hear truly heinous things that are an attempt to sway them from one position or another (and, of course, I could be accused of doing just that by posting this response rather than ignoring it and letting it disappear), but I feel I have a contribution to make (don't we all?).

Look, when I found out that Dumbledore was gay, my immediate reaction was,

"and your point is ...?"

I didn't see that there was any impact in the revelation at all, and, I believe, neither did JKR. She didn't "choose" that event or moment to make a "Dumbledore-Image-altering" pronouncement. She was merely answering a question that had not been asked before. If the question had never been asked the revelation would never have been made, because it is, in effect, immaterial to the character or the story.

As has been correctly pointed out, sexual orientation, while certainly having SOME impact on how you deal with certain issues and choices, was not relevant to THIS issue. It was how Dumbledore reacted to the lack of intellectual capacity equal to his, and how suddenly discovering it existed would have made his emotions soar (not sexually). ANYONE, of ANY sexual orientation, would be expected to react the same way if the same circumstances obtained. It is not easy being a loner, especially when it is not your choice. Leah was right - you do not EVER forget the feeling, nor do you EVER "get-over-it".

So, there was not a sexual imperative, so to speak, at work here. This is why the very concept of suddenly seeing an improper relationship between Dumbledore and Harry now, when no such thoughts arose before we knew he was gay, is so ludicrous to me - and yet, we heard those allegations, which made me very sad. This editorial was necessary

While I applaud the editorial, both for its approach and how well it hit the mark, I would much have preferred that it need not have been written - not because I want to "hide my head in the sand", but because the issue it deals with is not relevant either to the story, its messages or its entertainment value. It certainly isn't to me. It is too bad that there are still those that place too much importance on things that not that important at all, in the grand scheme of things. I mean people - really - Dumbledore is a character, in a most wonderful series of stories,who serves as the teacher of values, the hero figure to look up to, the flawed adult who, BECAUSE of those very flaws, teaches even more. And in NONE of these things does Dumbledore's sexuality make one bit difference.

M.



Last edited by The_Old_One; January 4th, 2008 at 7:51 pm.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 3:03 am
LHDervish  Female.gif LHDervish is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Old_One View Post
I mean people - really - Dumbledore is a character, in a most wonderful series of stories,who serves as the teacher of values, the hero figure to look up to, the flawed adult who, BECAUSE of those very flaws, teaches even more. And in NONE of these things does Dumbledore's sexuality make one bit difference.

M.
Well put! And really, could Dumbledore be any more honored than by being described as in every way a teacher?


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Old January 5th, 2008, 11:08 pm
Linda4546 Linda4546 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

With respect to "thinking of the children", we don't even need to tell the kids that Dumbledore is gay, and I like that. I agree with the other reader that these interviews where JKR gave extra information, such as the careers of the trio and the fact that Neville married Hannah Abbot and lived in the Leaky caudron were annoying. Let us use our own immaginations.


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Old January 6th, 2008, 12:47 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

However many people liked having that extra information given to them so if you don't want to know (many obviously still don't judging by some of the posts in these forums) then don't read any articles or at least ignore them - where JK has revealed something.
It his her world after all and the characters are her characters. I like knowing what she thinks happened to her characters. I hope she reveals a little more. She has said that maybe in 10 years time she might write an 8th book but that Harry won't be the central character - it won't be about Harry Potter. This means it could be about any of her other characters or the offspring of her characters perhaps - that is IF she writes the book. A lot can happen in 10 years.

I like the fact that Albus was gay - it broadens the books to have a semblance of all types of people which is good especially if it lessens the possible homophobic attitude of children reading the books. I llke the fact that that Michael Gambon was hamming it up on the set after it was annoucned - which everyone there found really funny.


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  #19  
Old January 12th, 2008, 4:20 am
swottygirl15  Undisclosed.gif swottygirl15 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Jo has always said she hates intolerance of any kind, with a profound literary character now coming out as gay, maybe she can help bridge the gap of that intolerance. I also am wondering what else we might find out in the "Scottish Book" it does seem as though each character has such a deep backround, which will be fun to explore!



Last edited by swottygirl15; January 13th, 2008 at 2:34 am.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 4:40 am
inkling7  Female.gif inkling7 is offline
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Re: Dumbledore Comes Out

Yes I'm also looking forward to the Scottish Book. Is that what she is going to call it? I thought she was writing A History of Magic.


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