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The Queer Side of Batman

Photo Warner Bros

Robin, the boy wonder, was introduced into the world of Batman to help lighten what was truly a dark comic. It was April 1940 and the character of Dick Grayson, who would become Robin, was introduced in hopes of attracting a younger audience. That it did. He was an instant hit with critics and fans alike.  What it also did, perhaps unintentionally, was to add some odd elements into the story and ultimately lead people to ask, is Batman gay?

The internet is rife with theories and proof on the whole alleged sexual leanings of Batman, some thin but many stare you right in the face and do not blink. In an interview with Playboy magazine, Batman Inc writer Grant Morrison opined that “Batman’s attachment to Alfred and Robin and his alleged detachment from the women in “fetish clothes” who “jump around rooftops to get to him” is symptomatic of his conceptual gayness.” But not in the way that you are thinking.

Author Andrew Wheeler broke it down in an article from the website Comics Alliances saying-

“Our culture has not always been comfortable presenting the realities of sexuality, but it has always found ways to explore its fascination with manifestations of sexuality. The cultural markers associated with being gay were fair currency for fiction even when talking about gay people was not, and thus gayness, with all its broad strokes and stereotypes, was detached from sexuality.”

But that doesn’t begin to deal with Batman’s rather odd relationship with his ward. Sure, the writers were looking for a Doctor Watson type character so Batman could share his deductions with, ala Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, but again the right honorable doctor didn’t do for Mr. Holmes what Robin does for Batman. You weren’t likely to find Holmes and Watson in so intimate of a situation as this –

Batman and Robin in bed
Photo DC Comics

Then, there is this little tidbit we find out about Batman and his choice of attire –

Batman and Robin
Photo DC Comics

However, as he progresses in his article Andrew Wheeler begins to argue semantics and lose sight of the facts. The comics themselves and the way they are written are the basis for this continuing innuendo. He says, “It has become an exhausted joke, of course; the hero/sidekick relationship has inspired decades of snickering insinuation. The implication is not merely that Batman is gay, but that he is a pederast and a predator.” It is neither the hero/sidekick dynamic nor the older man younger boy aspect the ideas come from. No one goes out on the street, sees two guys together and thinks they are in a relationship. If one asks the other if he remembers a leather thong and that it still has the other’s teeth marks  in it, we are honestly going to wonder however. That’s just a fact.

Leading us to the conclusion that, though Batman might not be gay but the original source material is presented in such a way that makes us question it, not because we necessarily want to. It’s just extremely hard to ignore.

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