Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

J.K. Rowling outs Dumbledore, creates hysteria among Potter fans

It’s not every day that a dead fictional character makes the top headline of the BBC; but then again, it’s not every day that J.K. Rowling reveals that Albus Dumbledore was gay.

Since the “Harry Potter” author’s revelation of Dumbledore’s sexuality at Carnegie Hall on Friday, Oct. 19, the Potter-obsessed (and otherwise) world has been aflutter with the news.

According to the BBC, at the Carnegie Hall book tour stop an audience member asked Rowling if Dumbledore ever found “true love.”

“Dumbledore is gay,” said Rowling in response to the question. Rowling went onto explain that Dumbledore had been in love with rival wizard Gellert Grindelwald at one point.

Following Rowling’s announcement, the audience gasped, then applauded.

“I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy,” said Rowling.

With leading headlines on the BBC, CNN and most every other Western news source, Rowling’s off-handed comment caused quite a stir.J.K. Rowling outs Dumbledore, creates hysteria among Potter fans | Illustration by Iris Alden

“The recent revelations about Dumbledore’s sexuality have provoked a huge amount of debate,” said Andy, a Potter expert on staff with Mugglenet.com, the leading Harry Potter fan Web site, in a piece in defense of both Dumbledore and Rowling’s belated announcement.

Rowling went on to explain her books as a “prolonged argument for tolerance.”

According to Rowling, she had previously told David Yates, the director of the forthcoming movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” about Dumbledore’s homosexuality. Apparently the script for the film included allusions to a female love-interest for Dumbledore. Rowling stepped in to set the record straight.

“That’s awesome,” said Whitman junior Kelly Dundon upon hearing about Dumbledore’s sexuality. “I’d always hoped there would be queer Harry Potter characters,” said Dundon.

“I think it’s so amazing how she has such rich character development. The characters are so much more than just what we see in the books. They’re people outside the books with complex personalities, and [Rowling] knows so much about them,” said sophomore Allison Gill in response to Rowling’s decision to not make Dumbledore’s sexuality known until after the publishing of the last book.

Some people have been unhappy with Rowling’s confirmation of Dumbledore’s sexuality.

“The suggestion has been repeatedly made that this information puts an entirely different light on Dumbledore’s relationship with Harry,” wrote Andy in reference to the argument anti-gay objectors have made. Other objections have arisen from those who see Rowling’s announcement as attention grabbing, claiming she’s just trying to remain in the spotlight now that her books are over.

Gay rights groups and every Whitman student interviewed have been highly supportive of Dumbledore’s “coming out.”

“I mean, most people I’ve talked to think it’s really cool that Dumbledore is gay,” said sophomore Krystina Andrews. “It shows how cool J.K. Rowling is.”

“Wait, does Harry Potter know about this?” said first-year Lauralee Woods. “If he knew and was cool with it, it would make him even cooler.”

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