But it is possible that Ms. Rowling may be mistaken about her own character. She may have invented Hogwarts and all the wizards within it, she may have created the most influential fantasy books since J. R. R. Tolkien, and she may have woven her spell over thousands of pages and seven novels, but there seems to be no compelling reason within the books for her after-the-fact assertion. Of course it would not be inconsistent for Dumbledore to be gay, but the books’ accounts certainly don’t make it necessary. The question is distracting, which is why it never really emerges in the books themselves. Ms. Rowling may think of Dumbledore as gay, but there is no reason why anyone else should.
If it doesn't matter, then why write about it? If, on the other hand, the coded language Rowling inserts does indicate Dumbledore's sexuality, then it is not just a "distraction", and it most certainly does mean that others should consider his sexuality as important. After all, throughout all the books, even the last one, after he died, he represents the forces of order, of the moral high ground against all those forces of compromise and cowardice that make the second rise of Voldemort all the easier. Dumbledore is a living embodiment of speaking the truth, regardless of consequences (even with his tacit admission, in a dream/afterlife sequence in the last book that he hid much from Harry that might have been important for Harry to know), against those "go along to get along" folks, including Cornelius Fudge, whose weakness and susceptibility to sycophants such as Lucius Malfoy cause such chaos.
Indeed, it would seem that his bravery might just stem from facing his own sexuality without fear. So, in the context of the story as it unfolds over the course of seven wonderful novels, it is most definitely important that Dumbledore is not only gay, but uncloseted. In the course of human history, however, including literary history, this isn't even a blip on the scale.
Please, for all our sakes. Shut up.