Activist welcomes 'Dumbledore is gay' revelation
A leading human rights campaigner today welcomed the revelation from Harry Potter author JK Rowling that Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.
But Peter Tatchell said the sexuality of the master wizard should have been made explicit in the hit series of children’s books.
Rowling outed Dumbledore, a central character in the books, while speaking to an audience of fans in New York last night.
“Dumbledore is gay,” the author said to a response of gasps and applause.
Rowling then joked: “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy.”
Gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “It’s good that children’s literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.
“But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore’s sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book.
“Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance.”
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, played by Sir Michael Gambon in the films.
A note was duly passed to director David Yates, revealing the truth about her character.
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”.
A spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall said: “It’s great that JK has said this. It shows that there’s no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.”
Deathly Hallows broke sales records as the fastest-selling book ever, selling more than 11 million copies in the first 24 hours following its release.
The fifth film adaptation of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released this summer.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due for release late next year.
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