The Gay Ladies of Harry Potter
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we make a case for queer subtexts.
This one is pretty obvious. Madam Hooch’s marital status is never mentioned, and in the world of J K Rowling that’s pretty much a dead giveaway for gayness. She is also a sports teacher and referee who has short spiky hair and mostly wears a button-up shirt and tie. It’s a no-brainer. Clichés are clichéd for a reason.
If we’re working from the metaphor of “magic” equating to queerness, then Mrs Dursley’s latent gayness should come as no surprise. The reason that she hates wizards and witches so much is because she doesn’t get to be one, and then she’s stuck with the repulsive, male Vernon Dursley. She needs a sweet lady to un-purse those lips of hers.
Bellatrix’s whole aesthetic is totally “goth gay;” kind of Evil Willow from Buffy vibes. The only dude she’s into is Voldemort, and that’s definitely platonic because can you ever see Voldemort deriving pleasure from anything other than killing innocent people? What a bad gal babe.
Professor Sprout is a Professor of Herbology i.e. she specialized in one of the most lesbian past-times ever - gardening. Plus, she is played by the wonderful Miriam Margolyes, an out lesbian in real life, who has been with her female partner for over fifty years. We know Professor Sprout has got green thumbs, but we reckon she's probably pretty handy with her other fingers too.
Luna is one of the best characters in the books, and there is no way she is not a lady-lover. She is kind, compassionate, totally clever, and does things her own way, despite other people judging her or thinking she’s weird. She also wears the colour purple a lot – she can be our lavender menace any day.
If we’re supposed to have picked up on Dumbledore’s gayness even though it wasn’t explicitly written in the book, then surely McGonagall is another “read between the lines” gay? A powerful woman whose partner is never discussed, and can turn into a cat? Like she literally turns into a pussy.
Again, wears a lot of purple. Historically, lesbians have been equated mostly with the kind of witchcraft that Trelawney practices – divination and the reading of the moon, oracles, fortune crystals, tea readings.
Tonks is a Metamorphmagus, which means that she can change any aspect of her appearance at will – clearly indicating that she is the physical embodiment of queer fluidity. She is also sassy as hell, and eventually marries Remus Lupin. Lupin is obviously another closeted gay character, as his werewolf status metaphorically aligns him with the struggle of gay men who are socially subjugated as a result of being HIV positive. Tonks and Lupin are almost certainly each other’s beards.
Do you agree, disagree, or have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
And if you're interested in reading more about how the whole Harry Potter series is mega-gay, check out Dumbledore Is Probably Still Gay But That's Not Really The Point.