Tuesday's Batman: Urban Legend #6 saw Tim Drake, the third Robin, come out as bisexual. Or, at least, that was the intent. While fans were excited, some remained unsure of whether Tim was coming out or simply exploring his sexuality without having come to any conclusions. On Wednesday, DC Comics put out a less ambiguous statement that confirmed: "Tim Drake dates boys." Alex Jaffe, who writes for the DC Comics website, goes on to offer some context into this coming out moment, writing, "If you're a member of DC's significant queer community, then you already understand why this is a big deal. In fact, you've probably been waiting for a moment like this for a very long time. But for the uninitiated, please allow me to explain."
Jaffe continues to break down what it means for a character to be queer coded. This is an idea that has especially applied to Robin in the past:
"Queer coding in comics, the idea of expressing your true self through a colorful costume as you hid your dual identity from the world, was once considered too scandalous for a largely homophobic nation. As queer kids were finding a piece of themselves in characters like Robin, judges and psychologists and even the comic book publishers themselves, wary of a culture turning against them, did everything they could to censor queer themes from comics for decades to come. But even as those themes were stifled, speculation on Robin's sexuality has never stopped.
"And despite a multitude of new Robins, each with a parade of their own heteronormative partners, queer readers have continued to see a piece of themselves within the Boy Wonder. Queer readings of Robin continue to proliferate through his stories. Friendships between Dick Grayson and Wally West, Jason Todd and Roy Harper, Tim Drake and Conner Kent, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, and even Damian Wayne and Jon Kent have been perceived as something closer than friendship time and again, by queer readers searching for themselves within Batman's world. But that should be no surprise. All the way back in 1940, Robin was created with the intention of being a reader surrogate—a character who readers could project themselves onto, fighting crime across rooftops under the enigmatic Batman's wing. There have been female Robins, Black Robins, rich Robins, poor Robins. Why would a queer reader, especially one overtly ostracized by comics culture itself for so many decades, feel any less worthy of that same surrogate relationship?"
While the article reminds readers that Tim's journey of self-discovery will continue in Batman: Urban Legends #10 in December, it concludes by stating, "Tim Drake nation, rise up. There's no turning back now." The entire piece is more than worth the time to read, so go check it out.
Batman: Urban Legends #6 is on sale now. Batman: Urban Legends #10 goes on sale in December.