With J K Rowling declaring recently that the headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in her hugely popular Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore, is gay, a thousand analysts have found fodder for dissection.
The Los Angeles Times, for instance, has a story headlined '7 clues that 'Potter's' Dumbledore was gay.' In the story, writer Deborah Netburn interviews Andrew Slack, who heads the Harry Potter Alliance, an organisation that mobilises Harry Potter fans around social justice issues.
Here are the points Slack noted, admittedly, in hindsight.
1. Dumbledore's pet Fawkes, the phoenix, is referred to as 'flaming,' an adjective closely associated with gays.
2. The anagram to Albus Dumbledore is 'Male bods rule, bud.' Potter fans will know that Tom Marvolo Riddle is an anagram of 'I am Lord Voldemort.'
3. Dumbledore's unusual fashion sense. 'Dumbledore defies the fashion standards of normative masculinity,' Slack told LA Times. How true!
4. His sensitivity. Slack says, 'Dumbledore understood that it's tougher to be vulnerable, to express one's feelings, and that one's undying love for friends and for life itself is a more powerful weapon than fear.'
5. His tolerance for 'different' people and creatures. Remember that Dumbledore was a champion for the rights of werewolves, giants, elves, muggle-borns, centaurs, merpeople.
6. Slack equates Dumbledore with Leonardo Da Vinci, pointing out that many scholars are of the opinion that the Renaissance man was gay: 'They both were considered eccentric geniuse... both even had long hair.'
7. That no one knew Dumbledore was gay. This, Slack says, is a mirror image of the real world.
Well, we wonder what surprise Rowling will throw up next, and what analysis we will have to endure next!