J K Rowling, Professor Dumbledore, and A Writer’s Family

Did you catch the big fuss this week about a comment someone made concerning Professor Dumbledore?

J K Rowling has gone on the record long ago about her beloved Professor and that she always just thought of him as gay. A fan this past week asked her about it, saying “I can’t see him that way.”    Rowling’s response is widely heralded as brilliant: “Maybe because gay people look just like…people?”

I loved that she didn’t feel the need to defend her character.  She simply responded with a logical observation and remained steadfast in her creation of Professor Dumbledore.  What an excellent example to us writers.

After all, we writers invest untold quantities of energy into our creations and as I wrote not long ago we become bonded to our characters.   It can’t be helped, our days and nights are fixed upon them as if they were our compass, guiding us through their story, leaving a trail of crumbs for us to follow and use for inspiration. And if Albus Brian Wulfric Percival Dumbledore presented himself to his creator as gay, then that was that.  Who is J K Rowling to question him?

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I understand it more than most perhaps.  I am nearing the end of a manuscript (only a week or so of tears and toiling and laboring left, wahoooo!) and one of my heroines is transgender.   I simply could not imagine her/him any other way.  There was no questioning or wondering.  She arose out of the ether as a counterpart to the main character and behold!  this is who she is.  And just like she wouldn’t let her mother change her, she wouldn’t let me change her either.  He stood steadfast in the knowledge of who he is and who am I to challenge that?  I couldn’t, nor would I want to.  I love him just the way he is and if caught in a pinch, he can defend himself much better than I can.

Ms. Rowling’s response is an example to all writers:  there’s no need to defend our characters, they speak for themselves, our job is to merely give them the voice.

Here’s to our characters kids!  May we be as loyal to them as they are to us…

Frankie

P.S.  Coming beginning Summer 2015 on e-book format:  Caysee and Mac Ride the Train:  A Story of Friendship, and Freedom by Frankie Wallace

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About Frankie Wallace

Frankie earned her BA in History from CSU Chico. She lives in northern California with one husband, two dogs, and three boys. Frankie is an avid cooker, reader, hiker, and napper. View all posts by Frankie Wallace

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