Poor Jerry Falwell must be turning over in his grave, as his fellow arch conservatives and Bible beaters scramble to get the Harry Potter series of books banned from public libraries. Falwell had a fit over Teletubby’s Tinky Wink”; can you imagine if he’d lived to see this?
I anticipate (and expect) the hyperventilation from the religious right, but there’s also the far left to deal with in this situation. I expect they’ll be protesting that Rowling should’ve outed the Master while he was still alive, and within the pages of her books instead of as an afterthought. The absence of that important part of his life from the Potter series makes poor Albus appear to be ashamed of that integral part of his character.
I, on the other hand, think it was classier for her to do it at Carnegie Hall, and in the company of fans. After all, it’s the fans' reaction to the news that’s more important than the shallow screams from people who don’t even know, nor have even, read the books.
In Harry Potter’s world it was about as necessary to announce your favorite color, left or right handedness, preference of car or favorite book, as it was to announce your sexual preference… which is as it should be. Rowling hadn’t made the announcement to raise an issue; she was merely answering a fan’s question as to whether Dumbledore, a believer in the prevailing power of love, had ever fallen in love himself.
Her answer was both simple and eloquent: "I always thought of Dumbledore as gay." She then went on to explain that Dumbledore had once fallen in love with Gellert Grindelwald, and had suffered when his intended became a powerful dark wizard.
Much to her delight, the audience applauded wildly at the announcement.
As a writer myself, I know that it’s necessary sometimes to let your audience get to know and love a character before you begin exposing everything about him. It’s better to let them think that a character is a trusted friend and ally than to come right out and expose them as a double agent for the “other side” in the first few paragraphs.
In conclusion, I’m glad she did it this way. Had she outed him in her books, they’d never have been as successful and beloved as they are now. It’s about time that people in general learn that homosexuals aren’t all pedophiles who chase little children to “recruit” them into their ranks.
Most of us have to announce it to people, or they’d never know…
As is the case for good Dumbledore.