Harry Potter fans' favorite magical, wand-wielding headmaster is gay, says the series' author, and as it turns out, many bookworms don't love him any less because of it.
Parents around the country told ABCNEWS.com that when their children heard the news that professor Albus Dumbledore — who was also Potter's mentor — was gay, most of them shrugged it off.
Robin Moyher, who writes for the Chicago Mom's Blog, said that her son was not at all upset about the wizard's sexuality.
"So what? It's a fact of life," Moyher's 9-year-old son said upon hearing the news.
Dumbledore was outed by Potter creator J.K. Rowling at an Oct. 19 question and answer session at New York City's Carnegie Hall, where a young fan inquired as to whether the headmaster had ever been in love.
"Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling, who went on to explain that he had once loved Gellert Grindelwand, a fellow wizard, but was then let down when he went to the "dark side."
Grindelwand's downfall, Rowling said, was Dumbledore's "great tragedy."
While some readers have seemingly embraced — or perhaps ignored — Dumbledore's newfound sexuality, whether a more serious backlash is brewing has yet to be seen — will all fans take the "who cares" approach to the news, or will the series' popularity be cursed?
"I think my kids would find it more captivating to discuss a character's magical power than a character being gay," said Devra Renner, author of "Mommy Guilt" and a contributor to the DC Metro Mom's blog. "Being gay isn't much of a mystery to my kids, as we've had ongoing discussions about families, those with two parents, one parent, adopted, etc. My kids know gay people. Magical people? Not so much."
Many parents echoed Renner's thoughts and said that kids nowadays know what being gay means, and found Rowling's announcement to be irrelevant, especially considering it was never mentioned in any of the books.
Philip Nel, an associate professor at Kansas State University, who teaches a course on the Harry Potter series, told ABCNEWS.com that authors often know more details about their characters than they end up sharing with readers, challenging rumors that Rowling's comment was made on a whim.
"All good writers know a lot more about their characters than they tell you," said Nel. "That's what makes them more believable. They have these life histories, but readers are only told what they need to know."
Because the series was told from Potter's perspective, Nel did not find it unusual that Dumbledore's sexuality was never revealed in the seven-volume series. After all, Nel asked, what school-aged kids really spend time mulling over their teacher's sexuality?
Dumbledore's popularity, combined with his homosexuality, could prove to be a wonderful combination, Nel said, and may teach kids that their attraction to someone shouldn't hinge on their sexuality.
"[Rowling] has established Dumbledore as a moral center in Harry's universe," said Nel, who said that he hadn't suspected Dumbledore's homosexuality before now. "This portrays gay characters in a positive light, and I don't see it as a bad thing."