Jude Law finally opened up about Dumbledore's sexuality — kind of.

Albus Dumbledore is gay.

Although his sexual orientation was never addressed outright in the "Harry Potter" book series, author J.K. Rowling confirmed to fans back in 2007 that the Hogwarts' headmaster is, indeed, queer.

Over a decade later, actor Jude Law will play Dumbledore in the "Fantastic Beasts" film sequel set to release in November. But now his character's on-screen queerness — or lack thereof — is ruffling Phoenix feathers around the world.


Photo by Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images.

The film's storyline follows Dumbledore's conflicted past with evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The two, according to Rowling, had fallen in love as young men — but you wouldn't know it just from watching Hollywood's take.

The sequel's director, David Yates, told curious fans earlier this year that the film doesn't "explicitly" depict Dumbledore as being gay, leaving many fans feeling understandably frustrated.

Now, Jude Law is finally speaking out about the controversy roiling his character.

"Jo Rowling revealed some years back that Dumbledore was gay," he told Entertainment Weekly. "That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, 'Yes, he's gay. But as with humans, your sexuality doesn't necessarily define you; he's multifaceted.'"

The actor continued (emphasis added):

"I suppose the question is: How is Dumbledore's sexuality depicted in this film? What you've got to remember this is only the second 'Fantastic Beasts' film in a series and what’s brilliant about Jo's writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time. You're just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come."

Maybe Dumbledore will get his gay on later in the film series after all.

Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

But regardless of how the upcoming films depict Dumbledore's sexuality, the controversy has already highlighted how Hollywood continues to fail LGBTQ people and our stories.

We need more LGBTQ characters on screen, especially when it comes to film and TV for teens — and, yes, young children too.

The LGBTQ community is still underrepresented — and misrepresented — in the movies and TV shows we watch. This isn't great, but it's especially discouraging when these failings affect the media that's accessible to kids.

There's nothing inherently "adult" or sexually explicit about LGBTQ people or our stories, but we're often viewed that way. It's why YouTube made a mess for itself by restricting queer-themed videos that were perfectly innocent in nature. It's why films with a gay kiss are more likely to get an "R" rating, preventing teens from watching without being accompanied by an adult. It's why some parents will get up in arms when a film for their child features an LGBTQ character.

"Let kids be kids!" they argue. "Stop trying to force an agenda on them!"

But it's not about making a political statement or pushing some vicious, immoral "agenda." Creating authentic Hollywood narratives representative of the real world means including LGBTQ characters in those stories — and keeping them queer when those stories are put on the big screen.

The creators behind the "Fantastic Beasts" series have a great opportunity to buck this damaging trend and give Dumbledore the gay portrayal he so rightfully deserves. After all, queer little Muggles will be watching at home — and they deserve to see themselves in the world of magic too.

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As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

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The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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