My beef with J. K. Rowling

“Harry Potter” author J. K, Rowling told 2,000 fans at Carnegie Hall Friday night that the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts is “gay.”

I’ve read the 4,000-plus pages of Ms. Rowling’s seven books, and, as she states, there is no reference whatsoever to Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality.

I have no problem with Rowling’s perception of Dumbledore. My beef with the author is: why bring it up now?

When the first book was released there was a loud, right-wing outcry against teaching little kids to love witchcraft. The roar of the Religious Right died down in the face of Ms. Rowling’s genius – she had created a master work of wizardry for the ages – and for all age groups.

Now, the protests will rise again as fundamentalists ponder, in their own weird way, the “damage” these books have inflicted upon a generation of young readers.

All this from folks who’ve never read the books. I need a butterbeer!

If Rowling’s revelation deters one reader – young or old – from Harry Potter’s magical pages, one of the most rewarding literary experiences ever will be lost.


Please take my poll to the left, and don’t miss the next post.

10/24/2007 update:

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly aired a segment last night titled, "Harry Potter's Gay Agenda." I saw that one coming a mile away.

O'Reilly's guest from Entertainment Weekly "opined" that she thought Rowling was trying to teach "tolerance."

What she should have told O'Reilly, who stated he didn't have time to read books about wizards, was, "It's not in the damn books, Bill!"

Bloviate that!


airth10 said...

Yah, what is Rowlings trying to prove. Maybe she thinks that it will sell more books, like she hasn't sold enough. Or maybe she is trying to get under somebody's nose, a further jab at the so-called establishment.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Rowling is trying to let people know that's ones sexual orientation does not interfere with their capabilities of excellent performance in their given occupations. Would be a good lesson for close minded people, and prejudiced people to learn.

We are all human beings with individual talents and capabilities regardless of our race, creed, sexual orientation, etc. Who is to say that one person is superior to another? That, my friends, is Hog Wash!

Sir Cumspect said...

From Stephen King’s review of the “Harry Potter” series, Entertainment Weekly:

“It was children whom Ms. Rowling — like her Fear Street precursor, but with considerably more skill — captivated first, demonstrating with the irrefutable logic of something like 10 bazillion books sold that kids are still perfectly willing to put aside their iPods and Game Boys and pick up a book ... if the magic is there. That reading itself is magical is a thing I never doubted. I'd give a lot to know how many teenagers (and preteens) texted this message in the days following the last book's release: DON'T CALL ME TODAY I'M READING.”

airth10 said...

Sir cumspect,
So what you are saying through Stephen King's review, as I hear it, being homosexual is not such a big thing or as devastating as some make it out to be.

I agree. After all, they are people who contribute robustly to society as the rest of us do.

Sir Cumspect said...


I’m listening to “Planet in Peril” on CNN, so will try to answer briefly:

1 – I do not judge my fellow human beings for WHO THEY ARE and that includes homosexuals, who have, indeed, made great contributions to civilization. There is far too much hate in the world to condemn love!

2 – The point of the Stephen King quote is to point out that after an author has sold “10 bajillion” books, there is no reason to say anything “to sell books.” Ms. Rowling explained that when she was vetting the script for the next “Harry Potter” movie, the screenwriter had decided Albus Dumbledore needed a love interest. She said she wrote in the margin, “Dumbledore is gay!” That might have been her way of getting back at a screenwriter who saw fit to write a love motif into her story where none existed. I suspect that’s the case.

3 – As my post points out: it would have been better to have avoided a controversy that only fans the fires of religious fanaticism, that only makes fanatics condemn books they have not read.

I once read somewhere that man fears most that which he does not understand, and I suspect that is true of persons who are homophobic and want to ban books they haven’t read.

Finally, the man who gave the world an English translation of the Holy Bible – The King James Version – was a homosexual. Does that mean his book needs to be banned? I think not.


Justin said...

I would bet most of the people discussing this on television have never read one page of the books. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR OPINIONS FROM ANYONE WHO HASN'T READ THE BOOKS. HP rules.

Anonymous said...

I am a tall, thin, gay man from Mississippi and when I first tried to accept my homosexuality, I associated myself with the character of a wizard. This happens all the time in society. Look at the popularity of vampires after the discovery of AIDS. It is a creature who gets infected by blood and remains young and everlasting. I don't know exactly why I associated myself with a wizard but obviously it helped me in some way to cross a barier to acceptance. Maybe other gay people associate themselves as such and Rowling knows this association. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Controversy sells books. I wonder if the controversy is wholly initiated by her.

Remember that the young do not get into the controversy as we do now. They just cruise right along enjoying what they enjoy. In fact, when you are young, you don't even see the controversy or the implications. You think the oldsters are weird for their concern.

Nothing will change her success or the following it has merited in its own right. Eowyn

Sir Cumspect said...

Rowling doesn't have to create controversy to sell her books. They sell themselves. This from Entertainment Weekly:

8.3 million
Copies of Deathly Hallows sold in its first 24 hours in the U.S.

325 million
Copies of first six books sold globally.

Languages into which the series has been translated, including Hindi, Welsh and Vietnamese.

Countries where Potter books are distributed.

Weight in pounds of Hallows' braille edition.

$4.1 billion
Worldwide box office gross (so far) for the five Harry Potter movies.

$1 billion
Estimated net worth of J.K. Rowling