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Harry Potter Fans Continue to Debate Rowling's Outing of Dumbledore

October 29, 2007
By Kimberly Maul

It's been a little more than a week since J.K. Rowling outed her famous character Albus Dumbledore at an appearance in New York. But "Harry Potter" fans worldwide have been dissecting the news, looking closer at the books to find evidence of Dumbledore's sexuality and debating Rowling's assertion.

The Los Angeles Times spoke to Andrew Slack, the head of the Harry Potter Alliance, which "uses online organizing to mobilize more than 100,000 'Harry Potter' fans around social justice issues, drawing on parallels from the book," according to the Times. Slack gave the newspaper seven clues from the books that Dumbledore was, in fact, gay, including his choice of a "flaming" pet in Fawkes, his fashion sense, and the fact that his name, Albus Dumbledore, is an anagram of "Male bods rule, bud."


Still other fans are rejecting Rowling's message, saying that while she may feel the character is gay, since it was not clearly stated in the book, it is simply her opinion.

"But it is possible that Ms. Rowling may be mistaken about her own character," wrote the New York Times Connections columnist Edward Rothstein. "She may have invented Hogwarts and all the wizards within it…but there seems to be no compelling reason within the books for her after-the-fact assertion. Of course it would not be inconsistent for Dumbledore to be gay, but the books' accounts certainly don't make it necessary. The question is distracting, which is why it never really emerges in the books themselves. Ms. Rowling may think of Dumbledore as gay, but there is no reason why anyone else should."


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