The casual yet calculated announcement by Harry Potter author JK Rowling that the character of Albus Dumbledore was gay made headlines around the world.

Her books are, as she put it, “a prolonged argument for tolerance,” a theme not lost on her millions of gay fans.

The character that embodies that tolerance above all others is Dumbledore, the wise and caring headmaster.

The revelation that a character in a popular children’s book is gay would be welcome enough if the novel’s reach only extended to the UK.

But Potter is a worldwide phenomenon, and is wildly popular in the Western country arguably having the most trouble understanding that gay people deserve equal rights – America.

Ms Rowling chose to reveal her character’s sexuality in front of a group of young American fans, and went on to tell them to “question authority.”

She chose to use her huge influence to directly challenge the establishment and speak up for gay people.

She chose to do it, not for more publicity, hardly something she needs, but because she wanted to make a point.

I think it is to her credit that she never made Dumbledore a “gay” character in the Harry Potter series.

Some have argued that she should have made a point of his sexuality. Clearly, they have not read the books.

Sexuality hardly features. A few chaste kisses are about as racy as it gets. For a teenage boy, Harry Potter really does not get much action.

Why would Dumbledore feel the need, in that environment, to whip out a rainbow flag?

Her books are not about sex or sexuality, but they are a clear representation of the values that many people in our country hold dear.

Yes tolerance, but also respect, freedom, bravery and defiance in the face of bullies and tyrants.

To fight for things because they are right, to resist hatred and bigotry and to stand by your friends, be they Mudbloods such as Hermoine or weird like Luna Lovegood.

She has carried those lessons into the hearts of millions of children across the world.

As well as made a ton of money for the Exchequer and encouraged a whole generation to read.

Which leaves one question – where is her Damehood?

We at PinkNews.co.uk have admired the amazing Ms Rowling for some time, but the events of this weekend have galvanised us into action.

We are calling on the Prime Minister to advise the Queen to elevate Ms Rowling to Dame Commander of the British Empire.

Ellen MacArthur got one for sailing round the world crying.

Barbara Cartland got one for “literary, political and social contributions.”

We think its time that JK Rowling was honoured for her amazing achievement, and for arguing for tolerance and love, while thrilling children, young and old, with the exploits of the boy wizard.

Fill in this form to nominate Ms Rowling or sign this petition on the Number 10 website.