Gay men are so horribly observant sometimes.
There I was, showing one of said gays around my house during a barbecue on Saturday (pulling myself away from crucial tong-duties in the process) when he remarked on my bedroom: You’ve got matching Harry Potter books on your bedside tables.
The embarrassing pain of it is, we do. Let this be an official warning to anyone considering parenthood: My girlfriend and I currently have Hers and Hers Harry Potters next to our bed.
Not that HP is not valid popular culture, it’s a publishing sensation and all that. And it’s hardly unusual to find such things prominently placed in the average gay/ lesbian household.
This is partly because, as anyone with a passing interest in Harry Potter fan fiction realises -“ come on, nerds, you know who you are -“ it doesn’t take much to find queer subtexts within the adventures of our favourite boy-wizard.
From the time Harry comes out of his closet (a broom cupboard under his relatives’ stairs, to be precise) and realises exactly why he is so very, very different from his normal family members, it is clear there is something quite queer about Harry.
As is their way, Potter fan fiction writers take it way further than the book’s own subtle suggestions, imagining sweaty couplings between room-mates Dean and Seamus, or the real reason why Draco is such a bitch all the time: his unrequited love for Harry and/ or Ron.
Personally I’ve always been a bit suss on Lupin, despite the thing in the last book where he gets together with that big dyke, Tonks. He’s a werewolf, which forces him to live a secret life, hiding his true identity from his students until he is outed, when he runs away from the school before parents can come and chase him off the premises. And what about his special friendship with that other confirmed bachelor, Sirius Black
The latest film even has bona fide gay and lesbian icons in the making: Robert Pattinson who plays the tall square-jawed Cedric Diggory is a veteran of shirtless modelling shoots and Cl?nce Po?, who plays Fleur Delacour, also apparently has some topless film scenes behind her (in the standard French way).
Bring it on, I say, and the final novel already. Then, maybe, my girlfriend and I can move on to less embarrassing readings.