So, through the grapevine, I've heard that JK Rowling has declared in an interview that Albus Dumbledore is, in fact, gay. Fine. This makes sense to me, and not only have I read all of the novels (most of them 5 or 6 times) but I also studied the series in depth for my senior thesis as an English Literature major. The only disappointment I feel about this latest subject of contention is the uproar it's caused amongst parents, conservatives, and holy-rollers everywhere. (Ahem - aka: those whose heads are so far into one anothers' busin---- Let's stop there before I go off on a tangent that I won't be able to escape from.)
People seem to be overly concerned with: (And do you see a theme here?)
- How will this affect my child?
- How soon will I have to have the "sexuality" speech with my ten-year-old when he/she hears about this?
- Why is Rowling saying such things? I thought these were childrens' books?!?!?
First of all, let me just say that I understand the worry that parents feel regarding their children and reading material. Kids have to grow up way too quickly these days. However, it does seem that parents are neglecting to recall one very important thing about the Harry Potter series.... Not all novels featuring children as main characters were meant to be read by children.
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier is a fantastic example. Main character = young boy. This is apparently a troubling equation for most people who get their knickers in a twist when the book also features sexually-loaded excerpts and psychological drama unsuitable for a child's eyes. Newsflash: Authors (artists, remember?) should not have to limit themselves to adult characters because parents don't understand the concept of reading a book before their child does. Nonetheless, Cormier's novel is one of the most commonly banned books in the United States.
Of course, there are parents who read books before they hand them over to their children. In my humble opinion, these people should have no gripe with Rowling. The common question (usually squealed disbelievingly in the author's general direction) is something to the tone of:
"How could you allow your novels to become so increasingly more violent, gory, and dark as Harry grew older?? Don't you realize that young children are reading these books?"
Rowling pointed out in an interview that the first novel, which was allegedly responsible for an incorrect first impression of the books to come, BEGINS and ENDS with violence. One of the first ideas that the reader encounters is a child violently orphaned by a man (wizard) whose pure-blood-only outlook on life closely resembles that of Adolf Hitler. Harry's parents are both violently murdered when he is a baby - his mother, right before his very eyes seconds after she pled for his life and sacrificed herself in an attempt to save him. How does this send the wrong first impression? I certainly couldn't tell you, and Rowling doesn't seem to know either.
The moral of the story is:
is NOT equal to
I'm just sayin'....