What else can I say, Dumbledore is gay.

Seriously. Only a few days after she revealed that her books were always meant to have a Christian subtext, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has revealed that Albus Dumbledore, the beloved Hogwarts headmaster, was gay. Quoth the Associated Press:

Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay. J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall.

After reading briefly from the final book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” she took questions from audience members.

She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds “true love.”

“Dumbledore is gay,” the author responded to gasps and applause.

She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said of Dumbledore’s feelings, adding that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down.”

Dumbledore’s love, she observed, was his “great tragedy.”

“Oh, my god,” Rowling concluded with a laugh, “the fan fiction.” . . .

Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” she spotted a reference in the script to a girl who once was of interest to Dumbledore. A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.

Rowling, finishing a brief “Open Book Tour” of the United States, her first tour here since 2000, also said that she regarded her Potter books as a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and urged her fans to “question authority.” . . .

The books have come to an end, but there are two more movies to go — so it will be interesting to see if they address this. And it will be interesting to see how the series’ Christian fans — and there are quite a few of them — respond to this latest announcement.

OCT 20 UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly‘s Popwatch Blog has its own report on the event where the “outing” took place.

OCT 21 UPDATE: John Granger has some excellent comments on the Dumbledore-is-gay brouhaha at HogwartsProfessor.com.

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  • Gay…? First Gandalf (Ian McKellan), now Dumbledore… Who’s next? Merlin? Obi Wan?

    Well… it makes sense. I think it has something to do with the long fingers. It’s genetic. They all have Marfan’s Syndrome.

    Now I wonder if Dumbledore ever got tarted up, concocted some polyjuice potion, and hit the London underground club scene.

  • Obi-Wan? Well, since you mention it, there was some discussion about Alec Guinness’s sexuality at this blog two years ago.

    And for what it’s worth, about a month ago, Ian McKellen told an audience in New York that he had encouraged Guinness (and John Gielgud) to come out of the closet, but Guinness was of the opinion that gay people should not talk publicly about their sexuality.

  • I loved how the weather girl on bctv was going on how she always knew he was gay because he’s such a great headmaster and so sensitive, only a man could be like that.
    I hate my society, the people who populate it (with obvious exceptions) and wish I was born in another century.

  • The weather girl was talking about this!?

  • “she always knew he was gay because he’s such a great headmaster”


  • Yeah, the weather girl. You know that twittering chit-chat they use to segueway from one portion of the news to another? There.
    As an unmarried guy who can be sensitive, I am tired of having all sensitive men painted with the same brush. I like women dammit! Bloody airheaded weather girl…

  • Small world… I google this issue and first hit is a blog from my home city.

    Here’s my two bits: I can’t believe that JK wasn’t influenced by the fact that Sir Ian is gay. It just seems like a cheap, “me too” bandwagon sort of thing.

    Yeah, all wise old magic men must be gay… what BS. It just seems a little derivative… but that’s not so surprising… (here comes the blasphemy): much of the Potter series is derivative. JK is a good writer, but not a great writer. She has only resynthesized various elements from writers who have come before her in this same genre. Doing this well does take talent, but her level of fame is all out of proportion to her accomplishments. There are many good writers of her calibre who do not achieve anywhere near the same level of acclaim. I think part of it is just luck – she was in the right place at the right time…

    I enjoy Rowling’s writing, but this announcement is tantamount to conspiracy to create a cliché/stereotype.