Just had a good time when I found this gif:
When Rowling mentioned — quite casually — that she always thought of Dumbledore as being gay since she started to shape the character, she seems to have brought the wrath of ages upon herself.
For her it was no big deal apparently, but having lived firmly grounded in this world of muggles she must have known what impact such an announcement would have. Not surprisingly, several Christian organisations felt the urge to comment, with the usual good olde homophobia clad in concerns for the children’s god-given assumed heterosexuality and the greater good in general.
What is indeed surprising, is that the announced fact, and the more than assumed relationship Dumbledore/Grindelwald didn’t find the joint approval of the fan-community.
Excuse me when I find this close to hilarious. I have to digress a little, just to define some terms:
(Disclaimer: The following is my perception only, I didn’t correlate this to anyone else’s view on the subject.)
There is fan-fiction, and there is slash. Fan-fiction can be woven around pairings that explicitely exist in a novel, as, e.g., Harry and Ginny, to stick to Harry Potter, but it needn’t be. Included in the vast fan-fiction section is slash. Now slash — which is making up at least 90% of fan-fiction according to my estimate — likes to pair couples which are not explicitely mentioned to have any relationship of a sexual nature. There is Draco/Harry, lovingly called “Drarry,” Snape/Harry, called “Snarry,” and every other pairing remotely imaginable. I think I saw one Snape/Neville’s toad once.
Slash differes from the narrow other section within fan-fiction by the sole fact that the ones in favour of a certain pairing consider it blatantly obvious. They like to gather in groups, and call their belief canon.
“Canon” is a wonderful thing. With this humble word — that has the same value for me on the turn-off scale as the word “dogma” — the world is devided into the ones shipping the certain pairing and the rest of the world who are totally clueless, as they fail to spot the obvious.
What is evident now is that this necessity to consider themselves member of an elitist circle of chosen ones receives a spoiler with the flat announcement of Rowling’s.
I love it. I love her. Isn’t Rowling one of the greatest creatures that ever walked the earth the past fifty years?
Let’s ponder this, dear reader, and maybe writer, but let’s assume you are not a “slasher:”
Very brief outline: Two guys get to know each other. Both under-tasked, one horribly unhappy with his life, a slight sister-fixation. The more flamboyant and more extrovert one harbors fantasies of omnipotence already; the other is tempted, he too wants to belong to a circle of chosen ones, and to the winning side for once. Of course, the parallels to the passage in the LOTR when Frodo offers Gandalf the ring of power are more than obvious. He refuses it, “Do not tempt me.”
Dumbledore refuses too, but reluctantly, and too late. He has more than a crush of ages on Grindelwald. He is his best friend, his only friend in fact, and his soul-mate.
The two of them break up after only a very short time, going separate ways in every way.
So, given this outline; what more to wish for? How come that almost every fan-fiction writer’s natural reaction seems to be like he had just been offered Weasley’s special treats in vomit-flavour?
Well, maybe not only Dumbledore wanted to belong to a chosen circle. But that’s only my theory.
Dumbledore is a wise man, maybe some good fan-fiction writers manage to handle their initial disappointment of being bereft of their exclusiveness too. Aren’t they a lovely couple…