10/20/2007 at 09:00 AM EDT
It was a little late for National Coming Out Day, but a huge revelation nonetheless: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed Friday night that one of her main characters, Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay.
The Associated Press reports that during a Q&A session with audience members, a young fan asked if Dumbledore finds true love.
"Dumbledore is gay," the author, 42, responded, prompting gasps and applause.
Rowling said Dumbledore was infatuated with rival Gellert Grindelwald, who was later offed in a battle between the good and bad wizards.
"Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down" and that his love was a "great tragedy."