J.K. Rowling’s Stunning Lack of Imagination
Look, I think it’s largely irrelevant that J.K. Rowling thought of Albus Dumbledore — whom she outed during a lecture at Carnegie Hall — as homosexual while writing the Harry Potter books:
The question was: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?
JKR: My truthful answer to you… I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] … Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that’s how i always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair… [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, “Dumbledore’s gay!” [laughter] “If I’d known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!”
What’s disappointing, even if she had never let the secret out, is that Rowling felt it necessary — in keeping with our monomaniacal culture — to layer homoeroticism on this key character’s formation of relationships. That she apparently couldn’t conceive of a young prodigy’s becoming enamored of a talented peer without there having to be a sexual element marks a shortcoming — and it is a shortcoming, an oversimplification, and evidence of immaturity and shallowness — that separates our society from its heritage, blocking transgenerational communication and lessons about friendship, love, and our true natures.