When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

24 October 2007

And here I thought R2D2 was just a beeping fireplug

John Cloud isn't all that impressed by J.K. Rowling's declaration before a group of Harry Potter fans in New York City that Dumbledore was gay:

Yes, it's nice that gays finally got a major character in the sci-fi/fantasy universe. Until now, we had been shut out of all the major franchises. Tolkien, a conservative Catholic, wrote a rich supply of homoeroticism into The Lord of the Rings—all those Men and Hobbits and Elves singing to each other during long, woman-less quests. The books and their film versions feature tender scenes between Frodo and Samwise. But in the end Sam marries Rose Cotton and fathers 13 children. Thirteen! You'd think he had something to prove.

Other fantasy worlds have presented gay (or at least gay-seeming) characters, but usually they are, literally, inhuman. George Lucas gave us the epicene C-3PO and the little butch R2-D2, and their Felix-Oscar dialogue suggests the banter of a couple of old queens who have been keeping intergalactic house for millennia. But their implied homosexuality is quite safe. There is no real flesh that could actually entangle, just some electrical wiring...

...So along comes Rowling with Dumbledore—a human being, a wizard even, an indisputable hero and one of the most beloved figures in children's literature. Shouldn't I be happy to learn he's gay? Yes, except: Why couldn't he tell us himself?
Put Dumbledore Back in the Closet (John Cloud, Time, October 22, 2007)

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