June 30 is the last day of LGBTQ History Month and I wanted to celebrate someone that has had a significant impact in the area of social justice in the past decade. The Sorcerer’s Stone was released exactly 14 years ago today. Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Albus Dumbledore. While he may be a fictional gay character, the impact he has had on an entire generation of youth regarding integrity, character, and social justice is profound.
While J.K. Rowling assumed that we all knew Dumbledore was gay, it was not until The Half-Blood Prince that we learn about Dumbledore’s love interest. In an article from the website The Leaky Cauldron and The Associated Press, Rowling said:
Calling any Harry Potter character gay would make wonderful strides in tolerance toward homosexuality…. By dubbing someone so respected, so talented and so kind, as someone who just happens to be also homosexual, she’s reinforcing the idea that a person’s gayness is not something of which they should be ashamed.
What I love about Dumbledore being gay is that his sexual orientation becomes immaterial, which I believe is the goal. We should be appreciated for our character and how we repair the world, rather than judged by with whom we fall in love. Unfortunately, we are not even close to the goal of sexual orientation being immaterial, thus we must be visible and out!
Consequently, I cannot underscore enough how important it is that as we read the Harry Potter series and watch the movies, we keep in the back of our minds that the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the kind, sensitive, wise, caretaker Dumbledore is gay. I, for one, am celebrating that fact. Of course, I have to leave off with one of my favorite quotes from Dumbledore:
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. [and this one] No, I was merely reading the Muggle magazines,” said Dumbledore. “I do love knitting patterns.
There are still many other voices that need to be recognized and celebrated within the LGBT community. I hope you will continue to look to TSM as we search out and spotlight LGBTQ voices that work for social justice and I hope TSM inspires us all to become activists–to eradicate racism, misogyny, homophobia, and bigotry.