Dumbledore Will Not Be ‘Explicitly Gay’ In The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel And Fans Are Mad

The director has confirmed Dumbledore will not be "explicitly gay".

Fantastic Beasts

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Despite being confirmed as a homosexual character by his own creator, it’s now been revealed that the character of Albus Dumbledore will not be gay in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is disappointing, and not just because I wanted to watch the beard-wizard get dirty.

When Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling first revealed that Dumbledore was meant to be gay in 2007 — starting her tradition of wowing her fans with hot takes that don’t appear in the books — the revelation created a storm of controversy, mostly from conservatives upset that the gay agenda had infiltrated the Ministry of Magic as well. But queer fans around the world were grateful for even that crumb of representation.

Rowling hinted the as yet untold history of young Dumbledore included a romance with the dark wizard Grindelwald. But, with no textual evidence in either the Harry Potter books or films, it was a rather toothless victory for LGBTQI+ representation. It really only counts towards meaningful inclusion if there is some gay stuff happening on screen, otherwise there’s really no risk involved.

Frankly, J.K. Rowling could have claimed that every single person in Harry Potter was sorted into the queer house “Buttsnstuff”, and it wouldn’t ACTUALLY change anything. But she has long hinted that The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which she is also a screenwriter, might change this:

“I can’t tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” Rowling said at a press conference two years ago. “You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn’t always the sage… We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned… watch this space.”

Which is why it’s particularly interested that this new Fantastic Beasts film, which takes place before the events of Harry Potter and includes both a young Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) and a young Grindelwald (problematically portrayed by Johnny Depp), is still not going to address Dumbledore’s much discussed sexuality.

“Not explicitly,” the film’s director, David Yates, told Entertainment Weekly, about whether Dumbledore will actually be represented as gay in the film. “But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”

We’re not actually saying that Jude Law needs to fuck a dude in this magical children’s film — but in order for Dumbledore’s character not to be completely “gaywashed” out of his supposed sexuality, there does need to be the same kind of ‘explicit’ representative action in the film that any heterosexual romance would get. It would only need to be as PG as a tenderly held hand, a clear verbal statement of affection, a chaste kiss. Or a wizard fuck, whatever. Maybe they can hold each other’s wands?

Perhaps the romance between Dumbledore and Grindelwald will unfold over the five planned Fantastic Beasts sequels, but if not, it seems a cowardly move, meant to appease the homophobes and conservative religious audiences.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is scheduled for cinemas on November 16, 2018.