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J.K. Rowling Facing Backlash for Comment on Dumbledore’s Sexuality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Muhlenberg chapter.

J.K. Rowling was able to create a universe of magic and wonder for us all to enjoy. Her books are loved by many and have been a cultural phenomenon. Naturally, because it is her universe, she can decide what happens in it. A few years ago, Rowling announced that the character Dumbledore was gay. Dumbledore’s sexuality is never hinted at or shown in the books. We all just have to believe it because the person who created it says so.

The spin-off movie “The Crimes of Grindelwald” shows a young Dumbledore facing off against his adversary Grindelwald. In a DVD interview, Rowling stated that the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald could have been sexual. Rowling made comments that were tweeted by @rowlinglibrary saying  “Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as it happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know.”

“So I’m less interested in the sexual side — though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship — than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationship,” she added.

This relationship is never hinted at in the movie, and many fans were left frustrated and disappointed.

“Well, as an ‘intense’ homosexual, and a fan of her books, I’ve quite had it with J. K. Rowling piggybacking on LGBTQ+ folk because it’s trendy to do so now, when she wasn’t prepared to make the sacrifices and fight at a time when it wasn’t so easy,”Twitter user wrote, adding: “Stop milking our rainbow.”

Fans are angry because they don’t feel that these comments are genuine, and Rowling is creating them just to stay relevant. Instead of actually including queer representation in her books, she is pretending to be an ally and adding them in later to her convenience. It seems as efforts are only being made to try to diversify her characters to please people. People think adding in these fakes are a little too late.

@JacksonEflin said:

“Somehow the only thing worse than JK Rowling not including explicit queerness in the narrative is JK Rowling including explicit queerness in the narrative.”

Rowling was adored by all for her being able to be successful after having a rough patch in her life. People’s opinions of her are starting to change, and they think she isn’t the same person she once was.

Some fans still support her, however, including one tweet that said: 

“I can’t believe people are this up in arms about JK Rowling. Holy shit no one is ever satisfied. It’s a book series. We all loved it. It was amazing. STFU and enjoy it.”


Hello! I am a Junior at Muhlenberg College majoring in Theatre, with a minor in English. I am from England and studying in the United States. On campus, I am a Tour Guide, Orientation Leader, member of AAA honor society and ODK leadership honor society, and a part of MTA. I am so excited to be a writer for HerCampus!
Hello! My name is Caroline Kinney, and I am the Campus Correspondent of the Muhlenberg Her Campus Chapter! I am originally from Leesburg, Virginia (D.C./Maryland/Virginia area) and currently a sophomore majoring in Theatre with a minor in Creative Writing. I am elated to be entering into this position at Her Campus Muhlenberg. My primary goals as the President/Editor-In-Chief of the chapter is to have an intersectionality approach to all of our content and to create a special bond between every team member in the chapter. Lover of corgis, guacamole, and intersectional feminism. I am so excited for this semester!