Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling revealed on Friday night that, in her mind, the series' resident elder wizard, and Harry Potter's headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is gay. She made the statement in a reading of the series' final book and Q&A at New York's Carnegie Hall, after a 19-year-old fan asked if Dumbledore had ever been in love.
There was a huge, prolonged applause from the crowd of 2,000 who had all won tickets to the event through a sweepstakes from Scholastic Books, the Potter publishers. Apparently, the backstory is that Dumbledore fell in love with a fellow wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, who later betrayed him. (We're not totally up on our Potter mythology, forgive us!) A transcript from The Leaky Cauldron:
Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his
horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent,
do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love
can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was,
and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person,
and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how i always saw
Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the
sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the
script saying "I knew a girl once, whose hair..." [laughter]. I had to
write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the
scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!" [laughter]
She added, "If I'd known it would
make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!"