Outing Dumbledore

J.K. Rowling brings a beloved character out of the closet. Here's why it's no gay triumph

Illustration by John Ueland

J. K. Rowling brings a beloved character out of the closet.

When J.K. Rowling said at Carnegie Hall that Albus Dumbledore--her Aslan, her Gandalf, her Yoda--was gay, the crowd apparently sat in silence for a few seconds and then burst into wild applause. I'm still sitting in silence. I feel a bit like I did when we learned too much about Mark Foley and Larry Craig: you are not the role model I'd hoped for as a gay man.

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 the major franchises. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a rich supply of homoeroticism...