We've been waiting to enter the fray over J. K. Rowlng's outing of her character Albus Dumbledore until we could point toward an article with a positive ISR (insight-to-snark ratio.) Mark Harris of EW stepped up to the plate.
It's often said that if every gay person in the world were to turn purple overnight, homophobia would disappear: In other words, fewer people would be inclined to vilify other human beings if they woke up one day and discovered that they'd been aiming stones at their college roommate, their aunt, their grocer, or their grandson. Statistics bear this out: People who have a gay family member or friend have more enlightened attitudes about homosexuality than those who don't. What Rowling has done, brilliantly, is to turn Dumbledore purple. She didn't reveal his sexuality in order to unlock a new way of reading the books, or as a provocation. She simply told the world that a main character in the best-loved books of the last 10 years is homosexual, and asked her audience to contend with it — and with the fact that it shouldn't matter. And her choice to make a beloved professor-mentor gay in a world where gay teachers are still routinely slandered as malign influences was, I am certain, no accident.