Ever since J.K. Rowling retroactively announced that Albus Dumbledore is gay after wrapping up the Harry Potter novels, the Wizarding World fandom has had issues with her method of revealing new information on her stories that helps diversify them after the fact without actually exploring it in her writing. This only got more pronounced with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which featured both Albus and his titular former lover but totally sidestepped any reference to their relationship.
Rowling has now just reopened this can of worms by revealing that Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald had an “intense sexual relationship” in their younger days, before they grew to become enemies. This led fans to pour out onto Twitter to express their frustration with the author’s continued attempts to retcon her characters, presumably in an attempt to please the LGBT community, but without following it up in any way that matters.
Here’s just a selection of the responses:
The thing that bothers me most about Rowling going into the “intense sexual relationship” of Dumbledore and Grindewald is that after being criticized for glossing over queer characters except in interviews, she reduced calls for real queer rep to “give us kinky sex details!”
— Exorcising Emily (@exorcisingemily) March 17, 2019
jk rowling can log on here and tweet “dumbledore was a dom top” all she likes but the fact remains she actively leaves out any LGBT rep in her books and films so her profit isn’t affected
— laura (@lauraw97_) March 17, 2019
I'm sick of Rowling and her half-assed inclusivity. It doesn't count if she's telling us after the fact. That's not being an ally. That's trying to get brownie points. She loses nothing this way. Put it in the text or don't talk about it all. Same thing with Hermione's race.
— 🍀 Lucky Femme | Not a woman 🍀 (@Femme_Queer) March 17, 2019
The previous tweet’s referring to the fact that the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play has cast black women in the role of Hermione, which Rowling supported by claiming she’d never specified the character’s race in the books (seemingly forgetting certain descriptions which heavily implied Hermione was Caucasian).
One fan summed up why the situation is so disappointing quite well, as Rowling’s actions clash with one of the core themes of the original Harry Potter stories.
imagine writing a series that deals with the way the adults you look up to can turn out to be actually Not Great People who actively harm kids with by clinging to and reinforcing problematic views and then…………deciding to be living example of that. amazing.
— Rebecca Mix (@rebeccarmix) March 17, 2019
Of course, these are just some responses from those not happy with Rowling’s comments. Other Harry Potter fans feel that she retains authorial control of her characters and can reveal whatever she wants about them. What do you think about all this, though? As always, sound off down below with your thoughts.