In the recently released comic book issue Batman: Urban Legends #6, Robin has a “lightbulb moment” in regards to his sexuality while fighting alongside his friend Bernard Dowd.
However, the author of the issue, Meghan Fitzman, has told Polygon that they’re deliberately not putting a label on the character’s feelings just yet.
“I wanted to pay tribute to the fact that sexuality is a journey,” Fitzmartin said.
In the graphic novel, Robin aka Tim Drake describes his feelings as “something out in the ether has been taunting you, teasing you.”
“Like you know you’re supposed to be on the same page as your brain but not everything made sense,” he muses. “People keep asking me what I want. But I couldn’t grasp it. Whatever it was. It always felt just out of reach. Until now. Until right now.”
Later, in a conversation with Bernard, he explains his feelings further, prompting his friend to officially ask him out on a date.
“To be clear, his feelings for Stephanie have been/are 100 percent real, as are his feelings for Bernard,” Fitzman told Polygon. “However, Tim is still figuring himself out. I don’t think he has the language for it all… yet.”
My goal in writing has been and will always be to show just how much God loves you. You are so incredibly loved and important and seen. Forever grateful to be trusted with Tim Drake and his story and honored to work with the amazingly talented @BelenOrtega_ and @loquesunalex 💗 pic.twitter.com/h2BMotX0Iq
— Meghan Fitzmartin (@megfitz89) August 10, 2021
The character’s sexuality has been questioned ever since he was introduced and has often been the target of not only speculation but jokes and innuendo. While the Batman comic writers have occasionally hinted at the idea that perhaps Robin doesn’t identify as straight, DC Comics have always insisted that he was.
Director Joel Schumacher also famously played with the idea in his films Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997).
Robin now joins a small handful of DC characters who are canonically Queer, such as Kate Kane’s Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Renee Montoya and Alan Scott the Green Lantern.
Well, it's officially – Tim Drake/Robin is CANON BISEXUAL! 🤯👏👍
Kudos to the writers for weaving this chapter so greatly and tastefully into the Batman Mythos – from a longtime Tim Drake fan 😎👍❤ pic.twitter.com/YVE7EDj22h
— WriterGuyKai (Kai)✒ (@WriterGuyKai1) August 10, 2021
The revelation about Tim Drake/Robin’s sexual identity comes after Marvel vowed to have more LGBTQIA+ representation in the future.
“We will empower those that are [LGBTQ+]. We’re not changing anything,” the company’s executive vice president of film production, Victoria Alonso, told Variety. “We’re just showing the world who these people are, who these characters are … There’s a lot that we have coming up that I think will be representative of the world of today. We’re not going to nail it in the first movie or the second movie or third movie, or the first show or second show, but we will do our best to consistently try to represent.”
Alonso’s comments come after the third episode of Loki, in which the trickster revealed that he is bisexual, was well-received by fans and critics who have been yearning to see more representation for the LGBTQ+ community.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige Valkyrie has also confirmed that Valkyrie will definitely have an LGBTQ+ storyline in Thor: Love and Thunder, while the upcoming film The Eternals will feature its first openly gay main character to feature on the big screen.
With comics books and films such a popular means of creativity, entertainment and escapism for people all over the world, the inclusion of characters that can help young LGBTQIA+ people find their voice and see themselves represented is surely a powerful statement from both companies.
Long may it continue.