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Big news about Dumbledore

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I'm guessing all y'all already know this, but I suppose it can't hurt to put a spoiler warning here anyway.

(I actually don't consider the specific info I'm going to mention here to be a spoiler, even by my stringent standards; it's not explicitly in the books at all, but rather extratextual info provided recently by Rowling. But someone who hasn't finished reading the series (I know of at least one such person) and who really doesn't want to know anything more may not want to read this. Sorry for all the buildup and metadiscussion; the topic of spoiler warnings has been on my mind of late.)

J. .K. Rowling has declared, during Q&A at a reading at Carnegie Hall, that she'd always considered Dumbledore to be gay.

The Guardian article gives a more detailed account of the outing than I'd seen previously, but it contains a spoiler about who Dumbledore once loved, a character who I think doesn't appear really prominently until book 7. So for those of you who haven't yet finished reading the series, you may want to skip that article, though I suspect you'll have a hard time avoiding hearing who it is if you spend any time at all on the Internets. Suffice it to say that the news adds some bittersweet nuance and poignance to an already-interesting piece of backstory that we learn in book 7.

Best line from Rowling given in the Guardian article: "Just imagine the fan fiction now."

I agree with those who are simultaneously delighted at the news and a little sad that it took Rowling until now to mention it. I suppose that explicitly saying that the headmaster of a school--a man who I suspect has been described at least once as having a "special relationship" with Harry--is gay might be a bit controversial. But still.

There's a Time article that gives a more general description of the evening, with some funny bits and the same spoiler as the Guardian article. It provides one line from Rowling that I haven't seen in other articles: "if I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!" I can't decide whether that's sweet or disingenuous.

Anyway, as with so many other celebrities who've come out over the years, better late than never.

And in case it's not clear from my tone here, I really am delighted at the news. Yay, Rowling!

(Thanks to Amy S for spreading the word about this on Friday evening.)

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