Throughout July, Micheline @ Lunar Rainbow Reviews and Faith @ GeekyZooGirl are hosting Harry Potter Month. You can find out everything you need to know about it here!
As much as we love the Harry Potter series, I think we can all agree that it isn't perfect. I like names with meanings as much as the next person, but considering Remus Lupin's name basically translates to Wolf McWolf it's no wonder Fenrir Greyback bit him.
In recent years I've seen more and more people eager to know more about the LGBT* community at Hogwarts, which I think is wonderful. We've become much more aware of diversity in the literary world, and though we still have a long way to go we've certainly made some improvements.
I totally agree that when it comes to diversity, authors need to start saying that their characters aren't white or straight instead of just hinting at it. However, I can understand why sexuality isn't really discussed in the Harry Potter books: because it's not relevant to Harry's story.
After J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay, something I think most of us picked up on upon reading the seventh book, there were some people who were disgusted because they're gross and homophobic, and there were some people who were angry because they felt as though she was simply jumping on the LGBT* bandwagon.
Though I could understand the anger amongst some members of the LGBT* community I wasn't sure it was entirely justified. In what way was Dumbledore's sexuality important to Harry's story? More to the point, what did J.K. Rowling have to do to 'prove' that Dumbledore was gay and that she wasn't just lying for the sake of a publicity stunt? Did people want her to be horribly stereotypical and portray Dumbledore wearing sparkly robes and gushing over musical theatre?
Dumbledore's sexuality wasn't at all important to Harry's story. In fact no one else's sexuality was important to the story which was why, in my opinion, J.K. Rowling never openly discussed anyone's sexuality in the books. That doesn't mean the books are perfect, but I don't think their lack of openly discussed sexuality makes them terrible books.
But just because a character's sexuality wasn't discussed doesn't mean they weren't there! I know that's completely contradictory to my earlier point, but I'd like to refer to the wise words of Cosima Niehaus:
When it comes to sexual diversity I think we need to see more characters outside of the straight and gay spectrum. I've never read a book in which a character has identified as bisexual, not for lack of trying, and I've certainly never read a book in which a character has identified as asexual, demisexual or pansexual. If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!
So I've made a little list of some of the Harry Potter characters who I believe aren't heterosexual.
(I also really hope I don't end up offending anyone with this post. If you're part of the LGBT* community I'm not trying to portray non-heterosexuality as 'cool' or 'quirky', I genuinely read the characters below as queer.)
Okay, so this one we already know. Dumbledore is gay which, like I said before, is something I think most of us picked up on while reading Deathly Hallows. I've started to like Dumbledore less and less as I've gotten older because I'm really not sure he was the best teacher (or the best human being), but his and Grindelwald's story was heartbreaking.
Personally I think Sirius is pansexual. Pansexuality is described as sexual attraction, emotional attraction and/or romantic love towards people of any sexuality or gender identity. Sirius has always struck me as an 'if I like it, I like it' kinda guy. He does his own thing, and always has done, that's why he ends up in Gryffindor and eventually ends up living with James after his own family disown him. Out of all the Marauders, I certainly think Sirius was the one who was most experimental with his sexuality.
I've always thought of Remus as bisexual. In the books we know he marries Tonks, but because J.K. Rowling herself has openly stated that werewolves are treated in much the same way that AIDS sufferers have been treated I refuse to believe that he's straight. The AIDS virus devastated the LGBT* community, particularly during the '80s and '90s, and Remus was a young man in the '80s. On a much less serious note I like me some Remus/Sirius just as much as I like me some Remus/Tonks...
I have a huge crush on Charlie Weasley, and I'm also pretty sure that he's asexual. I'm not trying to say that people who never get married or have kids must be asexual, but J.K. Rowling once said something along the lines of 'he's more interested in dragons than women', and I've read him as asexual ever since. Perhaps he's also aromantic, though a person can be asexual without being aromantic and vice versa!
This one I have no 'evidence' for, it's simply what I think: I read Luna as demisexual. People who are demisexual only feel sexually attracted towards people they already have an emotional and/or romantic bond with; it's often described as the 'grey area' between asexuality and bisexuality. There's something about Luna - she's serene to the core - that's always made me think of her as demisexual. I don't think of her as sexually experimental in the same way that Sirius is, but I can see her falling in love with a woman as easily as she'd fall in love with a man.
Do you read any of the Harry Potter characters as queer?