One of the last twists Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling shared about the famous series after its last installment was the fact that Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, one of the series' main characters, was gay.
At the time, the news shocked some fans, while others took the character detail in stride, recognizing it made almost no difference to the series, and still others celebrated the representation. But it seems others still haven't given the question up, years later.
On Tuesday, in a since-deleted tweet, one Twitter user posed the question to Rowling, asking, "I wonder why you said that Dumbledore is a gay because I can't see him in that way." The question itself is somewhat strange, especially all these years later, but leave it to Rowling to deliver the absolute best response possible:
"Maybe because gay people just look like... people?"
To her credit, @anakocovic12 was happy with the response, calling Rowling "an inspiration."
Though Rowling answered perfectly without missing a beat, it's concerning that the Twitter user even felt the need to ask the question in the first place. It shows there's still a sense gay people can even be "seen differently" than straight people.
And that's just this particular Twitter user. The belief that a person's sexual preferences can be determined just by their appearance is so pervasive, multiple scientific studies have attempted to support it. But this is a fool's errand — a worthless question without an answer. As Rowling said, gay people look like people. Because they are people.
During the ongoing debates about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, it's easy for people to view gay and straight as two opposing factions battling for their own interests. But, in reality, as Rowling so succinctly points out, there is no difference between gay and straight people. Until everyone realizes that, there will never be real equality or justice. Gay people are people, just like straight people are people. In other words, Rowling reminds us, people are people. Period.