On last night’s post about JK Rowling and queer baiting, someone wrote a comment about how she shouldn’t have mentioned Dumbledore’s “sexual taste” in the books. They went on to say that Albus and Scorpius were “so hooking up in the slytherin dorms”. This greatly annoyed me. They essentially made the assumption that being gay was all about sex. That’s not exactly true.
We, as a society, have this idea in our heads that being gay, bisexual, or pansexual is all about sex while being straight involves love. That is, at the very least, annoying. It can be considered extremely offensive. There’s nothing wrong with queer people having sex, but I’m so tired of people thinking that’s all we do.
We can fall in love too. We have families and friends that we love. We have children that we love. There’s a lot of love in us that doesn’t get recognized because straight people are focused on sexualizing us for their gaze.
Straight women are obsessed with their two favorite male characters having sex. Straight men think lesbians have sex to please them. Straight couples want to use bisexual women to “spice up” their sex lives with threesomes. Damn near everybody thinks pansexual people screw any and everything with a pulse.
It’s infuriating. Yes we do have sex, but we don’t do it for you. W’re also capable of loving. We really do need to divorce ourselves from the idea that being gay or bi is about sex only.
Our love, queer love, is something that needs to be seen by queer kids so that they know what they feel is okay. Queer kids need to see that they too can find love and grow old with the ones they love. We shove the idea of true *heterosexual* love down kid’s throats in almost every story. Why can’t queer kids have stories about true love?
The Harry Potter series in particular was about love and the power of it. How powerful would it have been to have the main person talking about love come out in the books as gay? It could’ve just been a line talking about how he loved Grindelwald and how that loved stopped him from intervening at an earlier point in time.
It could’ve been a line about how Grindelwald didn’t want to fight Dumbledore because he loved him and on some level didn’t want to hurt him. The possibilities were truly endless, and yet what did we get? A retroactive statement from the author that Dumbledore was gay. Woo hoo.
“But the publishers never would have published it,” you scream at your computer screens.
“Bullshit”, I say. Throwaway lines like that would go right over straight people’s heads. They would simply assume (as they did and still do) that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were simply “good friends”. In the comment on my post that I responded to, the person commenting (who may or may not be straight, I don’t know if they are) did just that with Elphias and Dumbledore.
In my humble opinion, it was exceedingly obvious to me that Elphias was in love with Dumbledore. Whether that love was returned or not, I do not know. What I do know is Elphias loved him fiercely and it could have been a very powerful moment to show that in the book. But it wasn’t.
My point in saying all of this is that queer love is beautiful in all of its forms and it’s not shown enough. If we are truly invested in ending discrimination against queer people and supporting queer kids, we need to put these stories of queer love in young adult and children’s literature.