NOTE: This article contains NO spoilers from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but does contain spoilers for the rest of the Harry Potter book series, that is, if it’s even possible to “spoil” something that has been out for almost a decade now.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has reportedly received “a ton of abuse” from LGBTQ fans who are angry at her for never introducing an openly LGBTQ character in her coming-of-age tale about a school of powerful wizards. The abuse reportedly started when Rowling changed her Twitter bio to read: “FAQ Answers: 1) Because the Basilisk didn’t kill him 2) Next year, I hope 3) Yes 4) Wait and see 5) No, he isn’t 6) No, he really isn’t 7) Yes, I’m sure.”
Some fans interpreted answers five through seven as a negation of a popular LGBTQ-fan theory that Sirius Black, the outlaw uncle of the titular boy wizard, is actually gay — they note that Black is described as being very good looking, having zero interest in female suitors and having a close relationship with Remus, an otherwise straight werewolf professor who expresses deep sorrow when Black later dies.
The author later explained that the last three answers on her bio “refer to the person who has dominated my notifications for the past 5 days” rather than a triple-negation of the queer-fan theory, but not before receiving what she called “a ton of abuse” from LGBTQ fans particularly through the hashtag
#JKRowlingIsOverParty, a hashtag which is now pretty much fans coming to Rowling’s defense.
In 2007 Rowling did in fact say that one of her series’ main characters — an older, powerful wizard named Albus Dumbledore — was gay, but she did so only after publishing the final book in her core series; in the books, Dumbledore never expresses overt same-sex attraction or describes himself as gay, leaving some fans upset for basically closeting a gay character.
One can argue that Rowling should have included an openly gay character in her books; it’s 2016 after all, and her books taught young people to oppose totalitarian dictatorships; why not teach them to empathize with LGBTQ characters too?
But one can hardly call Rowling homophobic for closeting Dumbledore and not making Sirius gay. Her declaration of Dumbledore’s gayness made countless readers aware of gay issues. Since then she has given her blessing to a mock wedding between Dumbledore and Gandalf, the wizard from J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. She also mourned the death of Luis Vielma, a 22-year-old ride operator at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter who died in the June 12 Orlando shooting.
But now, just for fun, here’s a rap battle between Dumbledore and Gandalf because why not?
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