Defending the Batman

Pop-culture quiz, Gay Guy. Batman: gay or straight?

He's an easy target, obviously, what with the fashion fetish, double-identities, sycophantic boy wonders, etc. Is that a cave or a closet, Bruce Wayne?

George Clooney, who played the dark knight in the most-ridiculed of the installments "Batman and Robin" jokingly admitted as much:

On Barbara Walter's Oscar TV special, Academy Award nominated George Clooney was asked if he would ever consider playing a gay role.

Clooney replies, "I already have, in 'Batman and Robin' (1997).

"Think about it," he explains. "I was in a rubber suit. I had rubber nipples. I could have played him straight but I didn't. I made him gay."

I could argue that the dude is also seriously into custom cars, bladed gadgets, and home electronics. None of which is a guarantee of straightness, but broadens the context a bit.

I grew up on reruns of the 1960s TV series, and Julie Newmar's Catwoman provided a hetero-hormonal jumpstart, for sure. Recently, his girlfriends have been played by Kim Bassinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes. All failed relationships, of course, but they all keep his secret. Hey, wait a minute!

Batman's primary obsession has always been himself, though. The isolation, the body sculpting, the self-made costumes, the absolute diva-ness of it all. He vengefully stomps anyone who attempts to match him in freakishness or notoriety.

The problem with the Batman myth is that each vision progresses through 3 distinct stages: Batman as Vigilante, Institution, and Camp. [Excellent essay by Lundegaard here.] Perhaps the straightness or gayness of Batman is best determined by where and when you find him.

Full disclosure: Gay Guy saw "The Dark Knight" with all the fanboys on opening weekend, while Straight Guy went berry picking and made cobbler. Absolutely true. What is happening here!

--Straight Guy


Gay Guy said...

Why is it "the" Batman, not just Batman?

Straight Guy said...

We'll start calling you "The Gay Gay" if it will help quash your jealousy.

Straight Guy said...

"The Gay GUY"... didn't mean to infer double gayness, at all.

Anonymous said...

I'd love some of the toys that 'the Batman' gets.

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