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Gay Batman

by Buckshot Grayhall

Gay Batman is more than a hollow stereotype, he’s a sexual predator.

If you’re looking for a comedy short that contains harmful stereotypes about gay men, then Gay Batman by Weirdfellas, is for you!

ProCreate Gay Batman“Gay Batman” by Weirdfellas

Let’s unpack the tagline for this film: “If Batman ever saves you in a dark alley, be careful. He may want more than a "thank you.”

This idea sets the tone for the 4-minute short, written by Luke Allein, that only acts to perpetuate the stereotype that gay men are sexual predators. It’s well documented that the Batman character has always been reluctant to engage in any romance or sex, but add Gay to his title and apparently that’s all he needs to become a wanton sex criminal. I talked with writer/producer, Luke Allein about Gay Batman. and he enlightened me as to it’s origins and the psychology behind its story.

“I was talking to some girl at a bar,” Allein recalls, “and I ran out of things to say, so I just asked her if Batman ever saved her in a dark alley, would she kiss him. She said, ‘no’ and that it was a stupid question, but then I thought of asking the question to a guy and I had the idea for Gay Batman.”

As we all know,Straight Batman is an asexual hero who would never abuse his position of power for personal gain. In this film, Gay Batman (Kelly Woods) is compelled to solicit sexual remuneration from the male citizen (Quinn Butterfield) he saves. Portraying gay men trading sexual favors in dark alleys is one of the cheapest generalities about gay men and it fallaciously assumes that straight (normal) people aren’t capable of the same behavior. Even Allein admits the story wouldn’t work if Batman was sexually assaulting a woman in an alley, “it wouldn’t be funny if [Batman] was doing it to a girl.”

ProCreate Gay Batman“Pucker up, or else.” (Image from Gay Batman by Weirdfellas)

Throughout the short, Gay Batman molests the citizen he’s saved, even going so far as to threaten him with violence if he won’t submit to a kiss. Scenes like this perpetuate the myth that gay men are attracted to every male they meet, including those who are in vulnerable positions. This is the same logic that allows people to believe that male pedophiles who abuse boys are gay, when all of the psychology has proven otherwise.

The fear that gay men, if allowed access to straight men, would make sexual advances on each and every man they meet is a durable stereotype that continues to give gay-panic attacks to athletes, politicians and televangelists alike. Unsurprisingly, the Weirdfellas’ misconceptions about gay men don’t end there, “Bruce Wayne isn’t gay,” Allein explains, “he’s living his regular life as a high powered businessman and playboy, but when he’s Batman, he’s already wearing a costume, so why not let his inner desires come out?”

Let's do a quick analysis of the comedy equation in this film. Our hero, Batman, is a straight man under the costume, a man who lives a “normal life.” When he dons the cape and cowl, however, the anonymity allows him to explore his deeper desires, which manifest as sexual aggression towards men. This tells us one of two things, either Bruce Wayne is gay but represses his sexual desire to such an extent that it manifests as violent aggression, or that Gay Batman isn’t gay at all but has far deeper issues that manifest as the use of sexually aggressive force to assert his power over others. Either of these implied character issues would have made for excellent shortdramas but none of the material here makes for good humor.

ProCreate Gay BatmanWhy, Kurt Fuller? (Image from Gay Batman by Weirdfellas)

Writers must now realize that we're entering a post-prejudice age, where our non-heteronormative characters are not automatically a punchline because of their minority traits. In Allein’s film, Gay = Deviant, and that trope is now just as tired as it is offensive. The only way to save Gay Batman from itself is to divorce him from the implied deviance by portraying him as a superhero who, even with all of his training, weapons, intelligence, and honor, is forced to deal with the same prejudice and bigotry traditionally experienced any LGBT person. If Gay Batman had to constantly rebuke straight male citizens assuming he wanted sexual favors, that would meet the new standards of post-modern comedy.

Gay Batman misses the mark for both humor and social commentary, hopefully the sequels will redeem both the character and his writers.

What did you think of the short film? Comment below!



Comments

Posted by Steven Shmelburgh on
I found this short incredibly offensive myself. Threatening male criminals with "a kiss" only perpetuates negative homosexual stereotypes and homophobic tendencies. I think all people should be 100% accepting of anything gay, or anything in life in general. No one should ever feel uncomfortable about anything different, and to make jokes highlighting this very basic element of human nature, or poking fun at the fact that some men much prefer a heterosexual lifestyle, is offensive. People have to learn that they if they aren't totally committed to social acceptance on every single level, they are bad people, and even worse if they laugh at scenarios that lightly touch upon it.
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Buckshot Grayhall bio pic

Buckshot Grayhall is a screenwriter, a father, an amateur dog trainer and he has loved art & film as long as he can remember. Buck studied sociology at San Diego State University and uses his background in social theory and research as a tool in his writing and reviews. When he's not writing you'll find Buck most days surfing at the pier or running with his mutt.

Cast and Crew

Gay Batman

Directed byErik Boccio

Written byLuke Allein

Starring: Kelly WoodsQuinn Butterfield, & Kurt Fuller

Running time: 4 minutes

Genre: Comedy

Follow: @weirdfellas2 (https://twitter.com/Weirdfellas2)

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