During the recent conflict between Jeff and Kalia I really feel that Jeff is being given a bum rap, perhaps not IN the house so much as out here in viewer-land. I saw the argument as it happened live. I have watched it again on Flashback to make certain of my assertions, before I go asserting anything incorrectly.

To summarize, a handful of house-guests were in the HoH during a lock-down, and the discussion turned to Harry Potter. Jeff commented that watching the Harry Potter movies puts him to sleep. Kalia, in an attempt to show her knowledge, began to recite Harry Potter trivia. Believe it or not, I DO like Kalia, but I have never found 'reciting trivia' to be a form of 'intellect'. Especially when such trivia is falsely presented.

Kalia first stated that JK Rowling was poor before Harry Potter (true). She then stated that JK wrote Harry Potter on a train. A train ride is where JK conceived the project, and began working on it. But neither the entire Harry Potter series, nor even just the first book, was written entirely on glamorous train rides across the English countryside. Actually, she wrote some of the first novel in a cafe called "The Elephant House". So we have not-quite-true trivial fact number 1 from Kalia.

Continuing with her plethora of Harry Potter trivia, Kalia said that Headmaster Dumbledore was gay in the Harry Potter books. (This is where Jeff became, shall we say, enraged? But we'll return to Jeff in a moment...) Yes, Kalia more-than-implied that Headmaster Dumbledore was gay IN the Harry Potter books. Kalia went on to state that JK Rowling wrote it that way to introduce her own children to the idea of being gay. Really?!

Like the train ride trivia, this is also false. Headmaster Dumbledore never had a boyfriend in the books, or seemingly any love interest other than his appropriate love and concern for the children. (Well... if he was really concerned about Harry, perhaps he wouldn't have let the boy's life be endangered quite so often.) JK Rowling once stated in an interview that she thought of a gay person as she wrote the character of Dumbledore. Hence, Dumbledore, in her mind, was gay. But within the context of the books' character, Dumbledore was not a “My Two Dads” kind of character. Unfortunately, the way Kalia presented the trivia to the HoH room certainly made it sound like Dumbledore was a “My Two Dads” kind of guy in the Harry Potter books.

That definitely flipped a switch in Jeff's mind, and the $#!+ hit the fan. Jeff was flabbergasted, and none too eloquent. Suddenly, the two chat areas I read lit up with the “Jeff is a homophobe” line of thought. Jeff dropped from ranking #1 on the daily Joker rankings to #2 within minutes according to someone in the Shoutbox. The Big Brother world was appalled! In the sensitive (and perhaps over-sensitive) minds of some, Jeff was equating a gay Dumbledore with a homosexual pedophile, and the thought was beyond intolerable.

It's amazing how many mind readers there are in the world! Unlike some, I don't presume to know what Jeff was thinking. But I know what I was thinking the first time I heard the Dumbledore Is Gay rumor. Based on Jeff's reaction (as well as his history of being decent and tolerable toward Kevin 2 seasons ago) I suspect that Jeff felt much as I did the first time the myth of a gay Dumbledore was presented to me. I was very concerned over the issues of political correctness and using literature to forcefully introduce young children to the idea of adult sexuality (whether heterosexual or homosexual). As Jeff briefly argued with Kalia, in spite of his loss for the right words, I felt a significant amount of empathy. Perhaps I COULD almost read his mind.

When I first heard that Dumbledore was supposedly gay, even before I opened my mouth and expressed emotions similar to Jeff's, I hopped on Google and did my research. Alas that this isn't an option within the Big Brother House! But I did my research and discovered that to conceive and evoke the character of Dumbledore, JK Rowling thought of him as a nice, caring gay person (perhaps someone she knew personally?). Next, I read the first 2 Harry Potter books to see how she actually presented Headmaster Dumbledore. Based on that reading, I would consider the books to be pre-teen books, not exactly Dr. Seuss material. Even then, if forced to guess Headmaster Dumbledore's sexuality based on those readings, I'd have classified him as asexual, or perhaps even potentially interested in Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall, as they fill the roles of the Mom and Pop of Hogwart's. I can't begin to imagine how JK Rowling hoped to introduce her children to the idea of being gay through the use of the (neutral) Dumbledore character, as Kalia declared.

But Jeff certainly never read the books, and nor did he have the opportunity to research the issue before he opened his mouth. I'm not going to say that Jeff was correct in expressing his outrage (look before you leap). But his reaction was brought on by some very misleading information from Kalia, which was equally uninformed and incorrect. Sadly, Jeff's ineloquent, poorly-worded reaction to Kalia's false assertion fueled the fire for the reaction (or over-reaction) of some of the more-vocal Big Brother fans and the media. Now fans and media alike are jumping to some extreme conclusions about Jeff, conclusions which are most likely NOT correct.

But, as some people are in no hurry to forget, Jeff has uttered homophobic slurs before. OMG! He called Russel the Luv Muscle the 'F' word in season 11! (That's the F-bomb that doesn't rhyme with truck.) Wow, that too proves he's homophobic, right? Well, I've heard gay people calling each other the 'F' word, and it's okay for them to use it derogatorily... (Awful similar to the 'N' word phenomenon, dontcha think?) I could see people jumping to the conclusion that Jeff is a 'phobe' if he had been disgusted by Kevin's very existence and had been walking around harassing HIM with such a nick-name. (Visions of Russel following Ron the Rat through the house while harassing him come to mind.) But using it towards Russel was obviously meant as nothing more than a locker-room insult. While it was perhaps inappropriate, especially in a forum observed by the world rather than in the confines of the locker room, it doesn't necessarily justify the conclusion of 'homophobe'.

Somehow, I feel that based on this one event (or even the several events combined,) we cannot properly conclude that Jeff is homophobic. Nor do I like Kalia any less either for spreading not-quite-accurate rumors. I'm hoping that they both learn and grow from this misunderstanding. Jeff has apologized to Kalia and they've moved on (although I think that she still owes someone an apology too). Shouldn't we get over it and move on also? I'm still wishing them both well this season, and I hope that others can too!