April 25, 2019 | 52° F

Chamber of Secrets: Dumbledore's sexuality is recurring theme


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We hear about people’s sex lives in media far too often. Just recently it was the virgin "Bachelor" Colton Underwood – the producers of the show made sure everyone knew he was a virgin every time the show aired. The popular topic of conversation kept people intrigued and captivated viewers to come back the following week to see if the discussion has changed. Now, even after the show finished airing, people are still talking about his virginity. 

Similarly, it’s been nearly 12 years since J.K. Rowling declared in 2007, that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, was gay. Fans were surprised and excited to hear this new detail about the character, especially since it was not mentioned throughout the thousands of published pages. Hoping to learn more about Dumbledore’s sex life, the fans were left cheated by the spinoff film series “Fantastic Beasts,” as again, there was no mention of his sexuality. 

Although it is shocking to hear an important detail, it is even more frustrating to know that it would be continually left in the shadows of every production Rowling produces. With many opportunities to verify the wizard’s orientation, Rowling has still yet to confirm this detail. This obscurity makes the Wizarding World fans wonder if his sexuality is even important after all, but the fact that Rowling keeps bringing it up must mean something? 

Just recently, Rowling announced that there is a “sexual dimension” to the romance between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in her commentary on the “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Blu-ray edition, according to Radio Times

“It was passionate, and it was a love relationship,” the author said. “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.”

With every mention of Dumbledore’s sexuality comes the question of whether Rowling is doing it for publicity or just for fun. Since she had multiple opportunities one would assume that it should have been shown to viewers by now. But the fact that Rowling is keeping the on-screen details hidden seems to be dragging on far too long. 

With every new revelation about his sexuality, the topic has become a meme for fans across social media. The dragged-out memes seem to keep building up and have now expanded beyond Dumbledore and onto new characters such as Dobby and Professor Snape. 

To back up Rowling’s argument about keeping his sexuality on the low, she also mentioned, “I’m less interested in the sexual side ... 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.”

From that response we could potentially assume that we should be paying attention to their stares and glances to understand their romantic relationship rather than hoping to see on-screen action. The real emotion behind characters are often through their subtle behaviors rather than their words. 

Rowling also reiterated that this is a five-installment movie series and there is still more to come. Like any good producer or writer, it is important to keep the audience involved and having this topic of conversation frequently show up lets the fans know that time will tell. 

Reminding the fans about his sexuality is not only good business, but keeps her fans alive.

Still, some fans would rather take a Time-Turner and go back to when Rowling had never mentioned it at all. A now relevant reference, in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Dumbledore told Harry, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love,” which has struck a note with fans, as it might be an allusion to Grindelwald, or just another ambiguous comment by Rowling. For now, fans must wait until the next “Fantastic Beasts” film and until then, leave it up to the imagination of the Potterworld universe. 


Elizabeth Leoce

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