J.K. Rowling Says There Were Gay & Jewish Students at Hogwarts (We Just Never Saw Them)

by John Boone 1:37 PM PST, December 18, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

With how much publicity J.K. Rowling has been creating around Harry Potter lately, you might think she was about to surprise, Beyoncé-drop another book on us. (Which, how awesome would that be?)

Alas, the next trip to the wizarding world isn’t scheduled until 2016.

But Rowling’s Tour de Tidbits and Trivia continues, full steam ahead. Recently, she’s revealed new information about Dolores Umbridge, the baddest witch in town; said she only regrets killing one character; and clarified the fates of fan favorite characters.

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It started with Rowling responding on Twitter to someone who wondered if there were any Jewish witches or wizards at Hogwarts. Turns out, there was:

This isn’t someone she made up on the fly either. Anthony Goldstein is actually a character in the books, Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows, and he was among the students who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. His religion is never explicitly stated in the book. Now we know! Happy Hanukkah!

That little bit of info opened the floodgates, prompting Rowling to tweet:

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During that conversation, Rowling responded to a fan who tweeted, “It's safe to assume that Hogwarts had a variety of people and I like to think it's a safe place for LGBT students” with this awesome photo:

Great! And we did already know that Dumbledore was gay, another revelation J.K. Rowling made after the fact, and which she fiercely defends. All of that is nice, but why couldn’t she include some of this info, you know, in the actual books that she wrote.

We don’t need Harry and Ron to snog (though, if you’re interested in that, you can probably find fan fic of it somewhere online), but couldn’t Hermoine have attended a meeting of the Hogwarts Gay-Straight Alliance once? Or couldn’t one of those Gryffindor boys have found a boyfriend at the Hogsmeade gay bar? These books are classics now, and kids will read them for years and years and years to come. It would be nice if they had been inclusive all along.

So we propose again: Introduce us to a younger Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He’d be in his 30s when the movie takes place. Who was he romancing back then?

Here’s a blast from the past: ET’s very first visit to the set of Harry Potter!