Editors' Note: Guest blogger Justin Nelson is the Co-Founder and President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). He has used his background in small business and issues advocacy to develop the NGLCC into the business advocate and direct link between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender business owners, corporations and government.
When author J.K. Rowling announced that Albus Dumbledore, the legendary headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series, was gay, the mainstream community was shocked. The world's LGBT readers not so much.
Unlike the grim Professor Snape, who pined away for a lost female love, and spunky Professor McGonagall, who liked dancing with her youthful male charges, Dumbledore was seriously single, without a hint of interest in the opposite sex.
It wasn't wishful thinking that had the LGBT community convinced Dumbledore was gay. It was the evidence--proof found in The G Quotient: Why Gay Executives are Excelling as Leaders... And What Every Manager Needs to Know. The 2006 book, written by Kirk Snyder, discusses the traits of good gay managers.
After a close review of The G Quotient, and a quick study of the Harry Potter books and films, it doesn't take an expert at Legilimency, the magical art of mind reading, to discover the clues to Dumbledore's sexuality--or to explain his knack for leadership.
More evidence will pile up this week with the arrival of the sixth installment in the movie series - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Second to Harry, Dumbledore is the most prominent character in this film (and book). And in this fateful movie, his past "relationships" come back to haunt him with a vengeance.
If Dumbledore had taken the management skills test in Snyder's book, as we did for him, the results would likely have been as conclusive as a Quidditch match between Harry Potter's Gryffindor team and the pokey badgers of Hufflepuff House. In other words, a shutout.
On our test, Dumbledore scored an authoritative 114 points, definite gay management material, surpassing the 110.5 average for gay men. The averages were lower for other sexual-orientation categories: lesbians (101.67), straight women (93.25) and straight men (80.02).
What is a successful gay manager? According to The G Quotient, successful gay managers are:
- Inclusive: Dumbledore was a vocal defender of the wizard children born to non-magical humans (i.e. the rest of us), who are known as Muggles.
- Collaborative: Dumbledore masterminded all kinds of winning combinations at Hogwarts, including the Harry-Ron-Hermoine triumvirate who eventually triumphed over the evil Lord Voldemort.
- Adaptable: Dumbledore was a genius at coaxing the best out of troubled but talented professors, including Remus Lupin, Sibyll Trelawney and Gilderoy Lockhart.
- Connected: Dumbledore founded the Order of the Phoenix, a group of well-known wizards, that defeated Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters.
- Intuitive: Dumbledore stood by the seemingly duplicitous Snape despite the objections of others, seeing that at his core he was a good but wounded wizard.
Admittedly, Dumbledore doesn't excel in every management category. When it comes to being communicative, for example, his record was sorry at best. The headmaster kept so many secrets that even the Ministry of Magic, the governing body of the wizarding world, was often in the dark. Even Harry was frustrated and discouraged by his mentor's penchant for secrecy on more than one occasion.
But all in all, The G Quotient lays out a pretty good case for Dumbledore's sexuality. The traits that have long made gay men successful leaders and managers--intuition, creativity and adaptability--are as indispensable to Dumbledore's success as his magic wand. While the mainstream community may be puzzled by Rowling's late-date announcement, the LGBT community understandably greeted it with a knowing "I told you so." The writing had always been on the wall. Or in this case, in the book.