The outed Dumbledore is loveless and pathetic, says Time’s John Cloud. He sees no progress for gay equality in JK Rowling's revelation, but rather a role model as problematic as Larry Craig. Shouldn’t the writer be happy with the news about Harry Potter’s heroic mentor? “Yes, except: Why couldn't he tell us himself?”
The closeted Dumbledore, Cloud posits, must have seen his sexuality “as shameful and inappropriate.” To be sure, fantasy lit has lacked proud gay role models: C-3PO was desexed and effeminate, and readers had to turn to fan fiction for hot and heavy scenes between Kirk and Spock. But the celibate Hogwarts headmaster isn’t much better, Cloud argues: a martyred, "lisping weakling" whose closest relationships were with child wizards.