OT: Ika's Cuaron quote

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Jul 16 13:55:00 EDT 2004

On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 00:29:04 +0800 (WST), Paul Andinach wrote:

>(I also, by the way, read Cuaron as proposing the analogy as a tool
>for understanding and acting out Remus' interpersonal relationships,
>not as suggesting that the analogy has any real presence in the story,
>intended or otherwise.)

That's how I interpreted it.  I can envision Cuaron telling Thewlis, "Okay,
you've nailed the smack part, but I'm just not seeing the gay uncle...."  I
don't have a gay heroin-addict uncle, but the image still conveys meaning to
me on the pop-culture level.

Ika wrote:

>reasons Lupin seems to me to be gay are that (1) he has close and loving
>relationships only with men; (2) there is never any hint that he has any
>sexual interest in women; and (3) he and Sirius (who by the fifth book
>seem to be living together) are described as "like a married couple". (In
>the film, they fall into each other's arms a lot, too.) I'm not quite sure
>what confirmation is needed: a lot of fictional characters are "labelled"
>heterosexual on flimsier evidence of opposite-sex orientation.

Given that Lupin is a secondary character in a children's book, I don't know
that his sexual orientation can be definitively proven one way or the other.
The points you make above are good ones for the homosexuality argument, but
I'm not convinced that they mean he is gay, period, no question about it:

(1) There aren't a lot of women in the Potterverse, so Lupin's lack of close
and loving relationships with them is like proving a negative.
(2) This is a kids' book centered on one boy, secondarily focusing on his
two friends, and after that touching on all the people in his life.  As
Lupin falls into the last category, there are naturally many things about
him that never come up.  His sexual interest in women (or lack thereof) is
completely unrelated to the story, so the fact that it's never shown is also
(3a) If two men can't live together without being labeled gay, there's
something seriously wrong with this world.  This plays into terrible
stereotypes about homosexuality--ones you probably know better than I do,
Ika.  In the fifth book, there are a LOT of people living in Sirius's house;
he might as well be charging rent to the Order of the Phoenix.
(3b) The description "like a married couple" often refers to two people who
exist in the unflattering state normally only achieved after years of
matrimony: squabbling over the same argument time and again, finishing one
another's sentences, etc.  It doesn't have to suggest a sexual relationship.

However, I'm not going to argue that this means Lupin is straight, without a
doubt, just that the point cannot be considered proven one way or the other.
I'm glad you gave your reasons, though, because it gives me another way to
look at that character.  I think the ambiguity is more valuable than an
openly gay Remus Lupin would be.  Most heterosexuals probably (and with good
reason, considering the straight/gay ratio in the general population) assume
that characters are also heterosexual unless it's overtly stated otherwise.
But the truth is that you generally can't tell whether this is actually true
just by looking.  I see an ambiguous character as a reminder that not all
assumptions turn out to be true.

Melissa Proffitt

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