Well, yes, it is. And what has surprised me (although it really shouldn't), is how many people are actually angry about this newly disclosed aspect of a popular fictional character. Check out the comments on cnn.com: so many of them express dismay at Dumbledore's outing by author J.K. Rowling. Why did sexuality even need to be an issue?
If you have not read the books and wish to, then READ NO FURTHER, because it is not possible for me to comment on the plot points and characterizations without revealing important details from any one of the seven novels.
The overriding theme woven throughout all seven novels is the power of love. Harry's life was saved time and again because of the different manifestations of love: his mother's love for him, Snape's love for Harry's mother, Harry's love for his school, etc. But what about sexuality? How does sex play a part in the Harry Potter stories?
A year before The Order of the Phoenix came out, I remarked (half-jokingly) to those who were fans of the first four books that the maturation of the themes and writing of the books reflected the maturation that a teenage boy goes through, and that it was just a matter of time before Harry got laid. I didn't expect J.K. Rowling to have the courage to write something like that, but I really felt it would have been a fantastic representation of adolescent life. Harry was capable of anger and vengeance; it was just a matter of time before other hormones started interfering with his logic centers.
And so it happened: Harry found love and desire from Ginny in the last novel. Had Harry and Ginny not been interrupted, they would have had sex. I was thankful to Rowling for writing that scene because it showed that she took teenagers seriously. Too often have teens in novels, films, and television been sterilized to fit an unrealistic mold. These characters reflected natural feelings in a supernatural world.
And then we realize that throughout the novels, all issues that give us pain through life were touched upon: the loss of parents, death of loved ones, teenage heartbreak, dropping out of school, sports injuries, domestic abuse, corporal punishment, murder, torture, interracial dating, and of course the pain that comes with being special for no other reason than circumstance. Harry was The Boy Who Lived, and despite simultaneous fame and notoriety, Harry found love. Remus Lupin was a werewolf, and despite his affliction, Lupin found love and acceptance. Bill Weasley was scarred, but Fleur's love for him continued. All these characters found love and kept it, making it all the more tragic for Dumbledore when we learn that his rival Grindelwald was also his love.
No, there are no such things as wizards and magic. But there is such a thing as life. Joanne Rowling, you have shown us how love can affect us all in all ways imaginable. It's life. Thank you.
And now for the crude stuff:
- Does this make Professor McGonagall a fag hag?
- What does it really mean when everyone says that Dumbledore was the best "headmaster" Hogwarts ever had?
- Is it a coincidence that Fawkes is a "flaming" bird?
- Would a boggart appear to Dumbledore as himself but dressed in flannel robes?
- Has Dumbledore ever apparated in a Minneapolis airport bathroom stall?
Feel free to add!