Is Harry Potter gay?
July 22, 2005 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Is Harry Potter gay? A lengthy essay on a fictional character's sexuality from the fine people at the, um, NAMBLA; North American Man/Boy Love Association. I think I've seen it all at this point.
posted by dflemingdotorg (85 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: links to NAMBLA are kind of icky, aren't they?



 
Wow, incredibly NSFW, imho...
posted by yeoz at 8:42 AM on July 22, 2005


Oh, come on. He's been crushing all over Cho Chang and Ginny Weasley. This is ridiculous. (And please, no spoilers; I haven't finished Half-Blood Prince yet.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:44 AM on July 22, 2005


I ain't even at work and I'm not clicking on that.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:44 AM on July 22, 2005


Yeah, seriously, I'm not clicking on any of these links 'till I'm home. Maybe not even then, actually.
posted by unreason at 8:45 AM on July 22, 2005


The NAMBLA scumbags have a lot of nerve trying to associate themselves with gayfolk. I'm surprised that gay organizations haven't told them to fuck off more forcefully.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 AM on July 22, 2005


FYI; I haven't found anything visually NSFW on this page. Content-wise, I guess it could be inflammatory, but YMMV.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:46 AM on July 22, 2005


jonmc - man-boy love is usually of the gay persuasion.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:47 AM on July 22, 2005


Don't worry, guys, it's pretty tame - even the NAMBLA homepage is SFW.

As for the case for Harry's gayness.. I'm definitely going to have to reject it for the same reasons stated by Faint of Butt.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:48 AM on July 22, 2005


I'm surprised that gay organizations haven't told them to fuck off more forcefully.

Not sure where you got this idea, but they sure have.
posted by digaman at 8:53 AM on July 22, 2005


jonmc - man-boy love is usually of the gay persuasion.

Or perhaps its really of the exploitation persuasion?
posted by Rothko at 8:53 AM on July 22, 2005


I think a link to Nambla, even if it's to a specific IP, needs a big NSFW tag preceding it.

The NAMBLA site may not have nudity or pornagraphic images, but I can't imagine my employer would be cool with outbound connections to their site.
posted by bshort at 8:53 AM on July 22, 2005


So, I'm guessing that guys fixed on young boys question sexual orientation of and attempt to write fan fiction porn about famous children's book series fictional boy hero. Who'd a-thunk ? News at 11. With artist's recreations ala Jacko trial !
posted by y2karl at 8:54 AM on July 22, 2005


Wow. What an awful article.

It's basically about the author and books he read as a child. Harry Potter is barely mentioned. Talk about piggybacking!
posted by ColdChef at 8:58 AM on July 22, 2005


Sorry. To clarify, it's auto-biographical. Not anything to do with JK Rowling. Shitty, shitty article.

And I was looking forward to reading some HP fan-fic.
posted by ColdChef at 9:00 AM on July 22, 2005


A lot of people will get cold fucking fired if they clicked on a NAMBLA link at work.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:03 AM on July 22, 2005


"Anyone who says they don't enjoy fucking 12-year-old Arab boys is either insane or lying." - William S. Burroughs
posted by fungible at 9:03 AM on July 22, 2005


Is there any evidence that NAMBLA is a real organization and not just a massive ongoing joke?
posted by COBRA! at 9:05 AM on July 22, 2005


jonmc : "man-boy love is usually of the gay persuasion."

Rothko : "Or perhaps its really of the exploitation persuasion?"

Presumably both, no?
posted by Bugbread at 9:07 AM on July 22, 2005


"Talk about piggybacking!"

Please, please, please pay attention to context when you use a phrase like this. Harry Potter, NAMBLA, piggybacking...it's a good thing I'm not a visual thinker.
posted by voltairemodern at 9:07 AM on July 22, 2005


It should also be pointed out that Harry Potter doesn't look anything like Marlon Brando.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:11 AM on July 22, 2005


pretty generic said that, not me, bugbread.
posted by jonmc at 9:11 AM on July 22, 2005


I should get fired for my hazardous verb tenses.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:12 AM on July 22, 2005


Presumably both, no?

No, not really. There's sex and there's power, and molesting children is about power, not sex. NAMBLA has nothing to with representing gay culture or male same-sex relationships, except in the most uselessly pedantic, technical sense.
posted by Rothko at 9:16 AM on July 22, 2005


Saying it's not gay and that sex is not a motive is innacurate, not just pedantic.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:33 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko : "There's sex and there's power, and molesting children is about power, not sex."

Presumably (again), it's about both, no?

jonmc : "pretty generic said that, not me, bugbread."

Ah, sorry, misread the quote.
posted by Bugbread at 9:35 AM on July 22, 2005




There's sex and there's power, and molesting children is about power, not sex.

There's sex and there's power and both so are intertwined for men, gay or straight, pitching or catching, that, if it involves sex, it's about sex. Power is never absent from the equation.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 AM on July 22, 2005


Saying it's not gay and that sex is not a motive is innacurate, not just pedantic.

Saying that molesting kids = gay is pretty insulting. Molestation/rape isn't about sex, it's about power.
posted by Rothko at 9:51 AM on July 22, 2005


Best of the web. Hmm.
posted by OmieWise at 9:51 AM on July 22, 2005


Why is dflemingdotorg reading NAMBLA? tsk tsk
posted by mischief at 9:52 AM on July 22, 2005


voltairemodern, would you prefer Potterbacking to piggybacking?

Truly, who gives a damn what the NAMBLA people are saying? This is an association of pedophiles and wannabe pedophiles.

What's next, an essay about whether the Jews "asked for it" written by a neo-Nazi?

I think this gets filed under Rest of the Web.
posted by fenriq at 9:52 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko writes "Saying that molesting kids = gay is pretty insulting."

Um, no one said that. When fathers rape their daughters it's still heterosexual sex, even if it's disgusting.
posted by OmieWise at 9:52 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko: are you saying power can't be sexually stimulating?
posted by mischief at 9:53 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko: How can you speak for all molestors and rapists? I myself have never raped or molested anyone, so I don't know if it's about sex, power or something completely different.
posted by null terminated at 9:56 AM on July 22, 2005


...and OmnieWise is dead on.
posted by null terminated at 10:00 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko : "Saying that molesting kids = gay is pretty insulting. Molestation/rape isn't about sex, it's about power."

Well, saying that chasing down Olympic marathon runners and stabbing them is tough cardiovascular exercise is also pretty insulting, but that doesn't make it untrue. Molesting kids of the same sex = gay. Molesting kids of the opposite sex = straight. They both suck, but that doesn't make them untrue.

Molestation/rape is about both sex and power.
posted by Bugbread at 10:00 AM on July 22, 2005


And I was looking forward to reading some HP fan-fic.

Personal log, Wesley Crusher, stardate 8243.45.

I just had the most curious adventure in the holodeck running a program based on a classic fantasy novel...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:01 AM on July 22, 2005


Actually, as OmieWise more calmly pointed out, nobody is saying that molesting kids = gay. All that was said is that man-boy love is, by its very nature, of the homosexual persuasion, with the logical extenstion that so is woman-girl love, and that man-girl and woman-boy love are of the heterosexual persuasion. Nobody is saying that which you seem to be so offended by.
posted by Bugbread at 10:03 AM on July 22, 2005


Wikipedia: More recently, media reports have suggested that for practical purposes the group no longer exists and that it consists only of a web site maintained by a few enthusiasts.

Everyone's basically getting worked up over an entry from some lone jackass' website.
posted by COBRA! at 10:04 AM on July 22, 2005


BlackLeotardFront writes "Don't worry, guys, it's pretty tame - even the NAMBLA homepage is SFW."

Aren't you worried about ending up on somebody's list by just visiting though?
posted by clevershark at 10:05 AM on July 22, 2005


Men molesting boys is homosexual. Men molesting girls is heterosexual. Nothing magical happens the instant people reach the age of consent, and the motives for having sex are often the same before that time is reached. Please go ahead and be as offended as you like.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:05 AM on July 22, 2005


It's probably just a bunch of jokes about Harry waving his wand anyway.
posted by clevershark at 10:06 AM on July 22, 2005


That depends: if a man molests a boy and then goes home to his wife and kids and has sex with her, would you still call him a homosexual? I wouldn't.

Men molesting boys is only homosexual in the loosest, incidental sense. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that homosexuality and child sexual abuse are no more linked than heterosexuality and child sexual abuse.
posted by axon at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2005


would you still call him a homosexual? I wouldn't.

That's right. He's called a bisexual.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that homosexuality and child sexual abuse are no more linked than heterosexuality and child sexual abuse.

Heterosexuality and child sexual abuse are very closely linked.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:11 AM on July 22, 2005


They call it NAMBLA not NAMCLA (C = child).

Clearly there's a penis orientation here. How can this not be homosexual?
posted by scheptech at 10:15 AM on July 22, 2005


"There's plenty of evidence to suggest that ..."

... if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. - luv m
posted by mischief at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2005


axon : "if a man molests a boy and then goes home to his wife and kids and has sex with her, would you still call him a homosexual?"

Good point. I should have phrased it:

Man - boy = homosexual or bisexual
Woman - girl = homosexual or bisexual
Man - girl = heterosexual or bisexual
Woman - boy = heterosexual or bisexual
posted by Bugbread at 10:22 AM on July 22, 2005


Men molesting boys is only homosexual in the loosest, incidental sense.

No, it's homosexual in a very cold, clinical, specific, technical sense. "Homosexual" is an adjective describing a sex act. If that sex act is between two persons of the same gender, it is, by definition, homosexual.

Period.

It's not a slur or a judgment against gays, it's just a technical description. We're not talking about gay culture or identity, we're talking about the modifier.


Saying that molesting kids = gay is pretty insulting.

In this thread, it shouldn't be. It's a techinical definition. No one said, "Eww, adult men having sex with little boys encompasses the whole of gay culture, identity and politics. Every gay man in the world wants to have sex with little boys." Fred Phelps may say that, but no one in this thread said that.

Again: "Homosexual" is an adjective that speaks solely to the genders of the persons involved in the sex act.
posted by gramschmidt at 10:23 AM on July 22, 2005


A implies B here, but B does not imply A.

Just because a man molesting a boy is a homosexual act does not mean that the majority of homosexuals are pedophiles. Likewise the majority of heterosexual men do not commit rape. The majority of Muslims don't fly planes into skyscrapers.

You can't deny that some pedophiles are homosexual, you can't deny that some rapists are heterosexual men, and you can't deny that some Muslims *do* fly planes into skyscrapers. Not all, but some. The statement misrepresents the actuality in so far as it implies a common trait to all those who belong a certain ideology or sexual orientation - but the truth is that people from those groups do commit those acts.
posted by Ryvar at 10:25 AM on July 22, 2005


There's sex and there's power, and molesting children is about power, not sex.
...
There's sex and there's power and both so are intertwined for men, gay or straight, pitching or catching, that, if it involves sex, it's about sex. Power is never absent from the equation.


Whenever I read things like this, I can't help but cringe a bit. I suspect that both of these statements are absurd oversimplifications, to the extent that they're accurate at all. Unfortunately, we really don't know enough about human sexuality to take these sorts of things at face value. There's a lot of complex wiring in our heads.

Having said that, what kind of power relationship exists in, say, an anonymous hookup? Is the idea of a power relationship between an adult and a child, where the child is the one exercising power, something that is simply impossible?
posted by me & my monkey at 10:28 AM on July 22, 2005


Impossible how?
posted by mischief at 10:31 AM on July 22, 2005


May I offer a compromise: NAMBLA's practices may be "homosexual", but they sure aren't "gay".
posted by wendell at 10:44 AM on July 22, 2005


There's sex and there's power and both so are intertwined for men, gay or straight, pitching or catching, that, if it involves sex, it's about sex. Power is never absent from the equation.

As far as this goes - bullshit. Not only can power be absent from the equation with men, but who's to say that it's not equally present with women? Just because it *frequently* takes a different form (the ability to contol a man through denial) does not mean that's the only form.
posted by Ryvar at 10:45 AM on July 22, 2005


Actually, as OmieWise more calmly pointed out, nobody is saying that molesting kids = gay.

"jonmc - man-boy love is usually of the gay persuasion."

All that was said is that man-boy love is, by its very nature, of the homosexual persuasion, with the logical extenstion that so is woman-girl love, and that man-girl and woman-boy love are of the heterosexual persuasion. Nobody is saying that which you seem to be so offended by.

You must have missed the recent memo from the Hon. Senator Santorum, where the term gay (or "alternative lifestyle") is made equivalent to pedophilia. By extension, that same connection is loosely, lazily implied early in this thread, however innocuous that offensive connection would otherwise seem to you.
posted by Rothko at 10:57 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko, maybe I'm wrong but hasn't pretty much everyone dismissed Santorum's statements as utter lunacy without even a hint of reality?
posted by fenriq at 11:01 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko : "You must have missed the recent memo from the Hon. Senator Santorum"

Yeah, I don't live in America.

Besides which, as far as I knew, santorum was some weird sex act, wasn't it?

Rothko : "By extension, that same connection is loosely, lazily implied early in this thread, however innocuous that offensive connection would otherwise seem to you."

We disagree that it was implied.
posted by Bugbread at 11:02 AM on July 22, 2005


May I offer a compromise: NAMBLA's practices may be "homosexual", but they sure aren't "gay".

Fair enough, although I don't even know what that really adds to any constructive discussion about pedophilia, beyond reinforcing some straight people's psychological distaste for what gay people do in the bedroom. I mean, it's like saying the sun will rise in the morning, something so patently obvious as to be meaningless to the conversation at hand.
posted by Rothko at 11:02 AM on July 22, 2005


We disagree that it was implied.

Clearly we disagree, although in American culture, that implication is made pretty much each and every time the discussion of pedophilia is raised. However pedantic you would care to be about the OED definition of a word, there are cultural values assigned to words, which you should be aware of.
posted by Rothko at 11:05 AM on July 22, 2005


I can't believe this post hasn't been deleted. tell me why we're supposed to give more traffic to NAMBLA?
posted by matteo at 11:06 AM on July 22, 2005


NAMBLA! Panic!
posted by Nelson at 11:09 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko, maybe I'm wrong but hasn't pretty much everyone dismissed Santorum's statements as utter lunacy without even a hint of reality?

He is a three-term senator for the state of Pennsylvania, running for a fourth term. Therefore a majority of people have voted for his election and re-election — and those same people by definition respect his views and values as a representation of their own. FWIW, a discussion of cultural definitions of certain keywords in this particular conversation would be incomplete without consideration of what he says and represents in my home state and in this country.
posted by Rothko at 11:10 AM on July 22, 2005


For the last time, I didn't say that, Rothko, I was arguing the opposite. So will everyone please stop quoting that with my name next to it?
posted by jonmc at 11:14 AM on July 22, 2005


Isn't the actor kind of getting close to his twenties by now?

And, me & my monkey: William Burroughs had kinda violent fantasies involving young boys.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:17 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko : "although in American culture, that implication is made pretty much each and every time the discussion of pedophilia is raised."

Maybe up in the north where you are. Down in Houston, where I was raised, the majority of gays were seen as having consensual sex with other gays, straights were seen as having consensual sex with other straights, pedophilic gays were seen as having nonconsensual sex with other people of the same gender, and pedophilic straights were seen as having nonconsensual sex with other people of the opposite gender. Must be a Houston thing.
posted by Bugbread at 11:19 AM on July 22, 2005


Maybe up in the north where you are.

Maybe, bugbread, maybe.
posted by Rothko at 11:20 AM on July 22, 2005


Is the desire for man-boy love genetic? Is it nature of nuture?
posted by dios at 11:30 AM on July 22, 2005


(the ability to contol a man through denial)

Heh. The power to refuse sex is every human's birthright.

The power to force sex is a crime.

Big difference, legally and morally.
posted by beth at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2005


Your all gay.
posted by brownpau at 11:35 AM on July 22, 2005


nice irony dios. i think it has something to do with a lack of understanding for the unique situation of the victim, and a priviliged perpetrator.

but dios: nature of or... and nuture nurture, right? or some new behavior theory involving nutrients?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:42 AM on July 22, 2005


Besides which, as far as I knew, santorum was some weird sex act, wasn't it?

Oh, this fills me with glee! Not only has the campaign to attach Senator Santorum with a sex act been successful, it appears that some people think Dan Savage's definition to be the original meaning of the word!

Oh yeah: Rothko, although some people equate homosexuality with pedophilia, I'm pretty sure that no one in this thread does. So get off your pedantic soap box already.

And one more thing, this was a lame FPP. The article sucked, had almost nothing to do with the "gayness" of Harry Potter, and a link to NAMBLA is just wrong.
posted by Specklet at 11:44 AM on July 22, 2005


brownpau: that was good. except wilde's remark should have been like, "Pardon me, you furry Philistines--but is it not a Tragedy to frame such ignorant grammar with such beautiful flowers?"
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:46 AM on July 22, 2005


dang it, priviliged privileged. /i am a pedantic bastard.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:52 AM on July 22, 2005


Rothko-I think that pretty much no one is saying what you're worried about being said. No one is equating pediphilia with being gay, or, importantly, vice versa. I can understand the desire to keep pedophilia and homosexuality as far separated as possible, but when we're talking about men who "love" boys there is only so far you can separate the notions.
posted by OmieWise at 12:08 PM on July 22, 2005


And, me & my monkey: William Burroughs had kinda violent fantasies involving young boys.

Uh, yeah, so? For all I know there's a young boy somewhere with violent fantasies involving William Burroughs. So what?

May I offer a compromise: NAMBLA's practices may be "homosexual", but they sure aren't "gay".

Everyone knows there are analogous heterosexual groups, right? (NSFW, I suspect.)
posted by me & my monkey at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2005


Don't tell me people are still confusedly equating pederasty with A pedophilia. The very significant difference is puberty .

I haven't checked lately, but if NAMBLA is also not differentiating then NAMBLA is also mistaken. (Most advocacy organizations of any type are run by idiots anyway.)
posted by davy at 12:18 PM on July 22, 2005


> (And please, no spoilers; I haven't finished Half-Blood Prince yet.)

*jump in car*
*drive around yelling: Harry Potter is Gay*
posted by NewBornHippy at 12:21 PM on July 22, 2005


I typoed: "with A pedophilia."

Had I not hit mistakenly hit Post Comment instead of Preview I'd have caught that typo. Oh well. You're bright people, you'll figure it out.
posted by davy at 12:23 PM on July 22, 2005


MeTa
posted by ori at 12:27 PM on July 22, 2005


As for "a link to NAMBLA is just wrong", grow up. At least in the USA we have this thing called Freedom; Americans who can't handle that should move to move to China.

(Did the "Post Comment" and "Preview" buttons switch places?)
posted by davy at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2005


Ah, thanks, Davy, I wasn't aware of the difference.
posted by Bugbread at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2005


I stumbled across that site before - the story is pathetic and the group is creepy - hardly best of anything.
posted by Julnyes at 12:32 PM on July 22, 2005


me & So what?
you're right--kids are every bit as harmful and dangerous as adults. nevermind.

no, i'm not sure why, but i linked your "cringe" comment with fungible's...burroughs's cute "let's be honest about our proclivities" thing. i guess it was to point out that there is a power relationship that overwhelmingly favors the adult--and that sometimes the adult's motivations are either physically or psychologically damaging to the child.

you know, unless we figure out a way to globally and instantaneously restructure our taboos.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:44 PM on July 22, 2005


Oh, this fills me with glee! Not only has the campaign to attach Senator Santorum with a sex act been successful, it appears that some people think Dan Savage's definition to be the original meaning of the word!

When I ran across the title of this editorial, "Smearing Santorum" I couldn't help but think that the copy editor was making a subtle joke. Perhaps the editor disagreed with the pro-Santorum stance contained within.
posted by grouse at 1:15 PM on July 22, 2005


I just got the santorum meme from Mefi, though, so I don't know how much it's actually spread.
posted by Bugbread at 1:22 PM on July 22, 2005


grouse, that's awesome. And bugbread, it's huge.
posted by Specklet at 1:34 PM on July 22, 2005


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