A final lesson from Hogwarts

The word is out and so is Dumbledore.

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling announced to the world that the wise old headmaster of Hogwarts is gay.

So what?

That doesn’t change anything. He’s still the same character millions of people, children and adults alike, fell in love with all those books ago. There are no shocking love scenes to anger overprotective parents.

He’s just a fictional wizard who happens to be gay. We don’t see the big deal.

Apparently, that’s the idea. Rowling waited until after the book series ended to reveal the truth about his sexual identity. She didn’t want it to affect the stories because there was no reason for it to. Until that point, most people just assumed he was straight – and that didn’t affect the series either.

The point of all this is it doesn’t matter, or rather, it shouldn’t. Being homosexual is as natural as being heterosexual. People don’t choose their sexual orientation, just like they don’t choose their gender or race.

It’s a personal victory every time someone comes out. Straight people don’t have to come out. It’s just assumed. There are support groups set up to help LGBT teens and adults deal with an unwelcoming society. Straight adults and teens don’t need that. Parents don’t send their straight teens to counseling to turn them gay.

Heterosexuality is always assumed to be the norm. That shouldn’t be the case. While there are more heterosexuals than homosexuals, that doesn’t mean homosexuality isn’t normal. You wouldn’t say blacks, Asians or other racial minorities in America aren’t normal because whites are the majority.

We’ve been making progress in our acceptance of LGBT men and women. There are organizations supporting them, many men and women feel comfortable being open about their sexuality, and some businesses even offer benefits to domestic partners. These are great steps toward normality, but they shouldn’t need such a fight to exist.

TV shows such as “Will & Grace” and “Queer as Folk,” bring LGBT life into our homes. Movies, such as Brokeback Mountain, highlight the struggle of dealing with a secret identity. But, when you really think about it, these are still behind. Or, rather, our reactions to them are. Granted, it’s great that we’re moving beyond having a token gay character in the background, but these shows and movies are still labeled as LGBT.

Why do we still care so much about the labels? Someone’s gay – who cares? Someone’s straight – again, who cares? A person’s sexuality only affects him or her so much. It doesn’t make someone completely different from a person of another orientation.

There needs to be less emphasis on the sex in hetero- and homosexuality. It is an important part, but not the only part. The focus on any relationship should be the love shared. Why should it matter to you if the person who lives next to you, walks across your TV screen or exists in your book happens to love another man or woman? It doesn’t make them any different from you.

Take a lesson from Rowling and Dumbledore. Why should it matter who people love so long as you already love them? Why should the labels matter? All they do is divide us into categories and stop us from being together.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.