Rowling Lets Dumbledore Out of the Closet

Laughter, pride, anger as author Rowling pushes Potter mentor out of the closet.

ByABC News
February 12, 2009, 4:58 PM

Oct. 20, 2007 — -- Well, it's official. Albus Dumbledore, a hero of the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series and headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts, is gay.

That's right, Harry's mentor and father-figure would prefer a nice wizard to a hot witch any day.

In a surprising new Potter twist, author J.K. Rowling outed Dumbledore at New York's Carnegie Hall in front of 2,000 Potter fans during a question and answer session Friday night.

After reading an excerpt from the seventh installment of her series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," one young fan asked if Dumbledore had ever loved anyone.

"Dumbledore is gay, actually," replied Rowling.

She was initially met with a surprised silence but ultimately the audience erupted in cheers for several minutes prompting Rowling to add, "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."

Rowling went on to explain that Dumbledore fell for Gellert Grindelwald, his childhood friend with similarly brilliant wizarding skills, who eventually went over to the dark side and became the predecessor to the infamous villain Voldemort. That love, explained Rowling, was Dumbledore's "great tragedy."

Rowling explained that the issue of Dumbledore's sexuality came up in the making of one of the Harry Potter films.

"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--'"

The crowd laughed.

"I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter -- 'Dumbledore's gay!'" she said.

Die-hard Potter muggles quickly reacted to the news online. The Harry Potter fan site had no less than 1,048 comments posted on the story as of early Saturday.

Many fans were thrilled with the announcement.

"This is a victory for homosexuality the world over," one wrote. "Dumbledore is iconic, and I can't wait for all those little children to hear about this. I am so insanely proud of [Rowling] for doing this."