Another gay interpretation?

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#1 Posted by Spastic Man (10 posts) - - Show Bio

As with the Wonder Woman page, someone threw a lengthy chunk of text in the middle of this article about gay issues. Opinion pieces are fine, but they belong IN THE FORUM. That's what it's there for.

Again, this isn't my stuff and I don't know who wrote it. I just moved it to where it should be:









One of the most controversial questions popped up in the early 1950s. Are Batman and Robin gay lovers? The answer is left for the audience to interpret, so theoretically the answer could be yes and no. However, a psychologist named Fredric Wertham testified in the Senate to get comic books outlawed. The comic industry had to organize the Comics Code Authority, and comics had to obtain that Authority's seal of approval. Wertham published a book titled Seduction Of The Innocent in 1954. Six pages in that book were dedicated to Batman’s supposed connection to homosexuality. During this time, homosexuality was much more intolerable then nowadays. Note that every example used is seen through Fredric Wertham’s eyes, as his work is all based on long-since totally discredited theories and a vicious, evil bias against homosexuality--AND comics, which he had always hated. The homosexuality interpretation began when one of his gay patients brought in Detective Comics and began telling him how it became a fantasy if he could live with Bruce. The homophobic, misogynistic Wertham wrote in his book:

"One young homosexual during psychotherapy brought us a copy of Detective Comics, with a Batman story. He pointed out a picture of ‘The Home of Bruce and Dick,’ a house beautifully landscaped, warmly lighted and showing the devoted pair side by side, looking out a picture window. When he was eight this boy had realized from fantasies about comic-book pictures that he was aroused by men. At the age of ten or eleven, ‘I found my liking, my sexual desires, in comic books. I think I put myself in the position of Robin. I did want to have relations with Batman. The only suggestion of homosexuality may be that they seem to be so close to each other. I remember the first time I came across the page mentioning the secret BatCave. The thought of Batman and Robin living together and possibly having sex relations came to my mind. You can almost connect yourself with the people. I was put in the position of the rescued rather than the rescuer. I felt I’d like to be loved by someone like Batman or Superman.’"

Wertham stated that “the Batman type of story” was what caused children to have subconscious homosexual fantasies. Wertham came up with a totally ridiculous and evilly homophobic "theory" that “they lived in sumptuous quarters, with beautiful flowers in large vases, and have a butler. It is like a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.” Up until 1961, male homosexual activities were banned in the United States of America. So therefore it was easy for Wertham, in his quackery, to connect that Bruce Wayne used a secret identity to hide his true self, just as gays had to hide themselves prior to 1961. Another argument he advanced that Batman was gay was the supposed lack of women in Bruce Wayne’s life. During these times, it was thought that homosexuals hated women, so Wertham quickly jumped to the wrong, false, and lying conclusion that “Bruce and Dick must be homosexual because there were no women in their home.” He viewed Batman as an anti-feminine and wrote that there are only “masculine, bad, witchlike women. And if a girl is good looking, she is undoubtedly the villainess. If she is after Bruce Wayne, she will have no chance against Dick.”

DC Comics would try to refute the allegations that Bruce and Dick were gay by introducing Batwoman, a former circus acrobat whose real name was Kathleen Kane, and her daughter, the first Bat-Girl, a fellow former circus acrobat whose own real name was Elizabeth "Betty" Kane, into the "Batman Family." In an interview with Julius Schwartz, who was then the editor of Batman comics in the 1960s, he stated that he had killed off Alfred and replaced him with Dick’s Aunt Harriet to have a woman in the house. The 1960s was the same time that Batman: The Series began to air on television. The television series seemed to support Wertham’s ludicrous theory of a homosexual Batman. The television series looked like it had everything Wertham said, from the happy "campy" atmosphere to the nice Batcave and no women in Bruce’s life. The next allegation was that Batman was the prime example of “the muscular male supertype, whose primary sex characteristics are usually well-emphasized, while Robin is a handsome ephebic boy, usually shown in his uniform with bare legs. He often stands with his legs spread, the genital region discreetly evident.” This also pointed out the type of costumes they wore. Robin then wore little green shorts and pixie boots while Batman wore skin tight clothing.










However, just as these can be falsely interpreted as “gay,” it can and should be interpreted as “straight” by mentioning that Robin’s costume was originally designed in the 1930s and that it was made to be colorful for children, while Batman was a dark character. Batman’s skin tight clothing could be interpreted as clothing worn by American football players. The skin-tight clothing helped one avoid being grabbed by extra clothing. So originally, Batman was never meant to be gay. However, it is up to the reader to interpret whatever they want. But let’s see what the creators think:

Alan Grant:

"In my 40 years as a Batman reader, that question never occurred to me. Then, during my time as writer on the Batman titles, I was interviewed for an American college rag. The first question was, 'Is Batman gay?' Well, the Batman I wrote for 13 years ISN'T gay. Denny O'Neil's Batman, Marv Wolfman's Batman, everybody's Batman all the way back to Bob Kane...NONE of them wrote him as a gay character! Only Joel Schumacher might have had an opposing view.”

Craig Lemon:

"No, of course not. When in 'Batman' form, he is dedicated to the job in hand, romance doesn't enter into the equation. Maybe the correct question should be, 'Is Bruce Wayne gay?' Whereupon you could come up with a whole line of speculation relating to his continual use and abuse of women, his fondness for young boys, and his weird obsession with older men (Alfred, Jim Gordon)...all of which could be put together and give one of two readings:(a) he's gay;(b) he has a secret identity he's trying to hide.”

Devin Grayson:

“To answer your second question first, do I agree with people imposing their own 'readings' on establish FICTIONAL characters? Of course. That's the whole point of reading, to bring your imagination and experience to the text, and to come away feeling inspired or entertained or like you've made a connection with the universal (because as I keep insisting, fiction is about truth, not reality)... So now, specifically, is he gay? Well, I guess it depends who you ask, doesn't it? Since you're asking me, I'll say no, I don't think he is. I'm pretty attached to the idea of him having the impossible romance with Selina, and I also think he's someone who lives pretty far outside sexual self-expression as a general rule. I certainly understand the gay readings, though. There's lots there to play with and I think that's fun and cool. And, of course, had you asked me about Nightwing's sexuality, well, you might have gotten a very different answer.”
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#2 Posted by BuckshotWasHere (19547 posts) - - Show Bio

I think published documents, legal situations and writer comments regarding the characters and regarding individual issues commonly brought up about the characters belong on the pages.

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#3 Posted by Gottheit (3591 posts) - - Show Bio

I could do without all the calling Wertham "evil" and "homophobic". Like, the bias in the script is making it unreadable.

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#4 Posted by zero edge (3991 posts) - - Show Bio

Article looks fine to me. It just talks about the speculation that was raised in the 60s, which made a huge controversy, part of the reason why the comic code authority came into effect AND is still in effect today. There maybe a lot of opinions by Wertham, but they are all published in his book, and whether you like it or not, he made a controversial impact on Batman.

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#5 Posted by zee crusher (9067 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah this basically looks like what happened along time ago in batmans early years. They kept saying he was gay. Then the actual creator went out loud and told every one those rumors were wrong and he's surely not gay. I didn't think anybody would bring this back up.

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#6 Posted by Guano (47 posts) - - Show Bio

anybody see where superman was exposed to pink kryptonite and started hitting on jimmy olsen?NO JOKE It was earth-2 superman in a supergirl comic.anyways yea that one guy ruined comics for more then 20 years you couldn't have any adult themes.its how bats got so bland & campy in the 50's.

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#7 Posted by Cosmic Sentinel (3733 posts) - - Show Bio

That does need some rewriting for neutrality, I think it's unnecessarily hostile towards Wertham. Talking about the issues of the time and creator comments is fine, though I would like to see sources cited.

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#8 Posted by Gemstone (53 posts) - - Show Bio
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#9 Posted by defaultdefaultdefault (16426 posts) - - Show Bio

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ive never actually looked at them, but these were labeled as some in question and pertaining to the issue. provided for evaluation purposes of course.
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#10 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (8950 posts) - - Show Bio
@CATMANEXE said:
"
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ive never actually looked at them, but these were labeled as some in question and pertaining to the issue. provided for evaluation purposes of course. "
lmao @ top right... bonerrrr.... and whats up with the one about the last person u touched? 'Robin==what have i done to you?'...idk what to think about all those... a bunch of homosexual references.
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#11 Posted by Drafta (670 posts) - - Show Bio

I never thought people thought seriously about this.  I always thought it was a joke.

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#12 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (8950 posts) - - Show Bio
@Drafta said:
" I never thought people thought seriously about this.  I always thought it was a joke. "
i seriously dont think batman or robin were gay. i just think back in the day when those comics came out everyone wasn't as uptight about homosexuality as they are today.
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#13 Posted by Drafta (670 posts) - - Show Bio
@BiteMe-Fanboy: XD Yeah, I just think it's hilarious that people care that someone who hardly even has a love life is gay or not.
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#14 Posted by loveNwar (474 posts) - - Show Bio

This reminds me off that old joke:
Robin asks to drive the batmobile for the first time. Batman lets him. Robin goes all excited and drives away like mad. After he had his fun and parked the car, Batman says: Now, i'm pretty sure you're gay Robin. "Holly nutts, Batman. How did you find out", asks Robin. "Easy" tells Batman "you seemed to have a lot of fun shifting gears, while all this time you knew damn well the batmobile is automatic".

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#15 Posted by Nerx (15350 posts) - - Show Bio
@Spastic Man: That would more likely be a case of pederasty dude
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#16 Posted by Dark Walker (506 posts) - - Show Bio

This old joke has been going on for years just because of the way the comics were written back in day.  As for the 60's TV show I recall Batman having female love interests, especially when it came to Catwoman.   People just read way too much into something whether its there as a joke or not.  It's been pretty obvious that Batman and Robin are not and were never gay, even if they were who cares.   People who want to claim or site "homosexual" traits in the comics/tv show really need to find a better hobby and put their time to better use.  I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here just saying it in general, as a whole.  Those comic exerts where funny to read, there was definitely a lot of sexual innuendo by today standards back then.  Nowadays you can't say the word come without someone making a crude joke or laughing.  We've become a perverse society where everything old or new can be turned around into some kind of sexual joke. 

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#17 Posted by ReverseNegative (2974 posts) - - Show Bio
@Dark Walker:
@Nerx:
This is a year-old topic!
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#18 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio

The Joker i am not sure, Batman and Robin, i say no.
Just people that see what they want to see.

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#19 Posted by Theworldbreaker (1681 posts) - - Show Bio

trust me Superman is gayer (not that eather one are gay) not only does he wear his underwear on the out side but this also 
 

 
 
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#20 Posted by Dr. Maxwell (676 posts) - - Show Bio

If they are who cares? Doesn't matter still one of the best characters given birth to in the 20th century, sexual orientation doesn't matter

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#21 Posted by elguapo38 (4 posts) - - Show Bio

I am personally not going to say that Batman  is gay or straight, but if you really think about it, the only steady relationships he has in his life are with two men.  Robin and Alfred.  These interpretations of Batman being gay are analytical by reading and analyzing the drawings and text.  The opinion as to whether or not he is gay all lies in Bruce's mind, and because we do not read comics in the first-person or even the omnipresent narrator we will never know until that moment comes when Batman comes out of the closet.

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#22 Posted by cbishop (15510 posts) - - Show Bio
@Buckshot said:

"I think published documents, legal situations and writer comments regarding the characters and regarding individual issues commonly brought up about the characters belong on the pages."


I disagree.  I think the wikis are supposed to be the story history of the characters, not the creative history of the characters.   This is a debate, at best, and debates are for the forum topics.
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#23 Posted by cbishop (15510 posts) - - Show Bio
@elguapo38 said:
"I am personally not going to say that Batman  is gay or straight, but if you really think about it, the only steady relationships he has in his life are with two men.  Robin and Alfred.  These interpretations of Batman being gay are analytical by reading and analyzing the drawings and text.  The opinion as to whether or not he is gay all lies in Bruce's mind, and because we do not read comics in the first-person or even the omnipresent narrator we will never know until that moment comes when Batman comes out of the closet. "

I disagree here as well.  This is taking panels out of context.  Wertham was a crank.  Saying comics cause juvenile deliquency is as bad as churches saying that rock music "makes" you dance and "causes" you to make bad sexual decisions.  Those kinds of decisions are on the individual, not the materials they surround themselves with, to reinforce a decision they had already made.  Wertham essentially did the same thing - surrounding himself with out of context examples to reinforce the idea he had already committed to, that comics were bad.  Unfortunately, a country still recovering from WWII and seeing Communists everywhere they looked were willing to listen to a crackpot pointing at a "source" of "evil."  Wertham was as cracked as the preacher in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran on 9-11, as a demonstration against terrorism.  The Koran doesn't cause terrorism any more than comics cause juvenile delinquency. 
 
DC has clearly gone out of its way to show that Batman is not gay, and that none of the Robins are gay.  The day Bruce, Dick or Tim come out of the closet, I will pull the staples out of the spine of that book, and eat the pages.  It just. isn't. so.
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#24 Edited by DeathpooltheT1000 (18984 posts) - - Show Bio

Thenever did something, that show Batman as a gay character, i mean, why does people say Batman is gay, like if he was the most important, gay character.
How many gay character knows, the comic always let you know that a chracter is gay,bisecual, or asexual.
Say batman is gay, just for take pictures out of context and upload them, i mean i could do the same with Midnigther or Northstar and show them as homophobic characters.
Is like say, Religion makes people go an kill people,  no, people kill people, because they are crazy, becuase is human nature to kill things, Batman is not gay, i mean Aquaman and Aqualad, Flash and Kid Flash, Batman is the father of  Robin, i mean, if those two have sex, is actually sick, they are family, Robin is underaged, is incest+pedophilia.

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#25 Posted by elguapo38 (4 posts) - - Show Bio
@cbishop:   Where do you get what I'm saying to what your saying? I'm just giving my opinion, I never said anything about juvenile delinquency or communism, I just gave reasons as to how it might be possible why people think he is gay.  And how am I taking panels out of context if its true and written in blood right in front of you? The only real relationships he has ever had was with [the] Robin(s) and Alfred, this doesn't make him gay, just a reason as to why people might think he is gay along with the plethora of other reasons as to why he "is" gay.
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#26 Posted by cbishop (15510 posts) - - Show Bio
@elguapo38: I apologize.  I didn't make it in any ways clear, but I was addressing everybody, in my reply "to you."  I quoted your comment, because it pretty well summed up what everyone else was saying, about why Batman could be gay.  "Panels out of context" was really referring to the set of panels CATMANEXE posted on page 1, but in general, the only way to get the idea that Batman might be gay is to take panels out of context.  That's what Wertham did, to justify Seduction of the Innocent (and in particular, the pages on Batman).  The communism and juvenile delinquency stuff was me putting Wertham in historical context. 
 
There is nothing "written in blood" in Batman stories, showing that he is gay.  The relationship between Bruce & Dick has never been one of homosexuality.  It started off as a "mentor" relationship, and over the years has become somewhat about "daddy issues."  None of the Bat-guys are gay or in the closet.  That is simply sarcastic and/or homosexual readers seeing what they want to see.  The characters are. not. gay.  Bruce has had several girlfriends over the years, as have Dick and Tim.  Jason they really haven't gotten into that much, so he could fall either way. 
 
If anyone is looking for gay characters in comics, they are out there, but the only ones in the Bat-verse at this time are Batwoman and the Question.  Period.
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#27 Posted by Shadow_Thief (2511 posts) - - Show Bio
@Drafta:  I would have agreed with you right up until the fiasco with the Teletubbies. It must be nice to have a life so utterly free of real problems that they have the time and energy to get worked up over something like this.

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