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It's not enough for J.K. Rowling to say her characters are queer

4 1 54
19.03.2019

J.K. Rowling never had to fight for her freedom to marry and it shows.

Seemingly unsatisfied with the shock value of making the characters in her Harry Potter franchise racially ambiguous, J.K. Rowling has decided to double-down on her 2007 declaration that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, a beloved elderly male character, is gay. Last week, in an interview added to the Blu-Ray DVD for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Rowling confirmed something fans have long wondered: Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard who's a friend-cum-rival, had "a relationship with a sexual dimension."

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

I've never cast a spell before, so here goes nothing: Tedious gravitas!

In the DVD commentary, Rowling says: "Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows, really, what the other person is feeling. You can't know, you can believe you know. So I'm less interested in the sexual side - though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship - than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships."

Viewers and readers especially can't know feelings between two characters when neither uses words nor actions to express them. There's a word for that: Closeted. By imbuing Dumbledore with a sexuality that does not speak its name, ink its page, or fill its screen in 2019, Rowling outs herself again as a 1990s throwback of a grandstanding faux-ally. "Do not pity the dead, Harry," Dumbledore tells Harry in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. "Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love." Pity characters penned in fictional, unnecessary closets even more.

Rowling published the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in Britain in 1997. She wrote six more Harry Potter books before she........

© The Age