On Friday, when author J.K. Rowling was asked about Albus Dumbledore's passion, she said, "I always thought of him as gay."
I wish I hadn't read that. I have no intention of reading any other news articles about it.
The information about Dumbledore's sexuality does not provide me essential insight into the character that hasn't already been revealed. I have read some of the fan sites, so I know people have invested much in these characters. So have I.
Personally, I absolutely loved Dumbledore, and his character brought me more tears and rewards throughout the series than any other single character. (Hermione comes in a close second.) Dumbledore's monologue at the end of Book 5 brought me to my figurative knees with his honesty and affection for the boy wizard. Don't get me wrong, I loved Harry, too, and every Weasley on the planet (including Percy, even as a git), but, for me, Dumbledore was the heart of the wizarding world.
That is why I think speculating about Dumbledore's sexuality seems to me very lewd and unnecessary. It would be like writing sex scenes between Harry and Ginny: I know they're married and I know they have three children. I know where babies come from in both the Muggle and wizarding worlds. I don't need those kinds of details.
Now there will be much reading into the character with this new information, apparent in a headline I read tonight pondering the "true" relationship between Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.
The character of Dumbledore did not change for me with this revelation — though, I have to admit, any of my own imagined untold back story between him and Minerva McGonnegal is officially dead now. Note the use of the word untold. I don't need to know everything. By being told everything about every character, especially something so personal in nature, I am robbed of my own participation in the story and of my own imagination regarding the characters. I wonder how many other fans are lamenting the invasion into their realm.
Carole, what do you think?
I wonder if this is a glimpse of what we will be in for regarding the Harry Potter encyclopedia that Rowling has alluded to. She said she is taking some time off from Harry Potter, but that she has so much more back stories on the characters that she plans to develop an HP reference book, if you will.
I never really got that vibe about Dumbledore in any of the books, but then students should never really be put in a position where they are considering their teachers' sexual orientation, should they? In the sense that Dumbledore was the headmaster of Hogwarts and the character that taught us, the readers, so much about the wizarding world, do anyone of us need to be considering this?
Just as you are now left with your Dumbledore-McGonegall illusions in tatters, I wouldn't want to find out the Weasleys stayed married merely for the sake of the children, instead of the true loving marriage I envision. I don't want to find out that Hagrid has battled a mead addiction since adolescence. If Lily Potter slept around before she married James, spare me.
In other words, I would implore Rowling to consider her readers' imaginations and to allow some room for their mental images to flourish.