It takes courage to stand up for J.K. Rowling, who recently split from part of the ‘Harry Potter’ fan legion over statements deemed transphobic. Although the author does not appear to have suffered financial implications, so much so that it was a bestseller in Brazil last year, its cancellation led to death threats.
For those who don’t live on Twitter, Rowling wrote three years ago that in the face of the proliferation of public policies facilitating access to gender reassignment surgeries and the adoption of social names, she was concerned about the potential for men to pretend to be trans. On women to sexually abuse and abuse women in bathrooms.
The situation shifts and returns to the networking agenda, often with the writer herself adding fuel to the fire—as, for example, when she advertised a store selling T-shirts printed with phrases like “Trans women are men.”
This is not a text in defense of what Rowling thinks about gender identity—even because the author disagrees with her—but about the image she suggests of Dumbledore’s homosexuality, which comes with the premiere, this Thursday, of “Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets,” Volume Three. From the franchise derived from “Harry Potter”.
The assumption is circulating on social media that Rowling woke up one day and posted on Twitter that Dumbledore was gay with the intent of “hunting gays”. It’s the name given to the practice of baiting to please the LGBTQIA+ community without offering anything tangible in order to promote yourself and ultimately profit.
But it wasn’t. Rowling’s announcement came when the acronym LGBTQIA+ was still called GLS – Gays, Lesbians, and Sympathizers – and Twitter, the main stage of the complex situation, had hardly been created.
That was in October 2007. The author was touring the US for the release of Deathly Hallows. At the signing ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York, a reader asked if Dumbledore, who believed in the power of love, had ever fallen in love.
Rowling responded that he had fallen in love with Grindelwald, the great dark wizard who preceded Voldemort, the villain in “Harry Potter.” The passion would make him fall in love with the trick that witches, chiefs, must subdue “thieves” – that is, non-magical ones – in reference to Nazism.
“He was blinded by love,” the author said, and decided to become celibate. She added that she once had to correct the “Harry Potter” screenwriter and says that the dialogue he created, in which Dumbledore tells Harry about a girl from the past, is meaningless.
Then the audience kidnapped the silence of the tomb. Until suddenly the applause erupted, to which the writer replied, “If I had known that it would make them so happy, I would have said it sooner.”
The scene is unbelievably innocent at a time when works like the revival of “Sex and the City” push the envelope to correct the lack of representation of the past and create characters whose characters are reduced to being gay or lesbian. , bisexual – or, in the case of the show, non-binary.
Rowling’s books have been criticized for not showing Dumbledore’s homosexuality, but the criticism is outdated. No doubt sex shapes the course of the individual, but “Harry Potter”, who is much more concerned with love between mother and son, between brothers, and primarily between friends, never stresses the marriage or courtship of his characters, except for those who, in the narrative line of the present, They made the narrative go forward.
The reader is not introduced, for example, to Professor McGonagall’s tragic novel, which Rowling also revealed when answering a fan’s question at a book signing. exactly the contrary. One of the biggest complaints from readers is Harry’s not building a relationship with Ginny, i.e. between the protagonist and his friend’s sister, Ron.
Regardless of narration style, it must be remembered that if Carnegie Hall fans applauded Rowling on the one hand, the revelations led to a barrage of homophobic comments on news portals and even among fans.
It’s worth noting that it was a time when you could count your fingers on celebrities who openly admitted to being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. On Brazilian television, a gay kiss on Globo’s “America” had just been banned, and characters like Crô or Félix, which reinforced stereotypes associated with the gay community, weren’t even present in stories seen by the general public.
Rowling was only able to persuade a publisher to publish her book—seven years after it was written, and after 12 refusals—after agreeing to borrow the name of her paternal grandmother, Kathleen, to create her stage name. the reason? The house that finally opened to him said the boys would not read a fictional book written by a woman.
It is hard to expect that an author forced to pretend to be a man would be able to explicitly address the character’s homosexuality, even if it was necessary to the narrative. Over the years, fame and money have certainly brought Rowling creative freedom, but in 2007, the year the last “Harry Potter” was published, the closet doors were still shut in the entertainment world.
In some places, they still are today. The new Fantastic Beasts movie had two scenes with references to homosexuality, which is forbidden in China. There were those who accused Rowling of having bowed her head for censorship, when the decision was certainly in the hands of the studio, which would not give up showing the film in a country that is yet the world’s largest film market. US responds to a third of the box office of previous volumes in the franchise.
Perhaps that’s why, in the second Fantastic Beasts movie, the gay issue is not explicitly portrayed, but is only mentioned in a scene in which Dumbledore says he and Grindelwald were “more than brothers” when he reveals he made a blood pact with the witch. It’s hard to explain who was dissatisfied, but it’s unfair to attribute discontent exclusively to Rowling in the billion-dollar market that is cinema.
I’d rather believe that not so long ago, Rowling taught legions of children and young adults that love is the most powerful magic out there and that, like Harry, no one would need to live inside the closet.