Title: Announcement III: The Day After (3/4)
Pairings/Characters: Clark/Bruce, Dick
Series Notes: Superman and Batman come out.
Category: Drama (laced with humor, hopefully!)
Summary: The day after the Press Conference. Gotham University.
Date Of Completion: March 11, 2007
Date Of Posting: March 12, 2007
Word Count: 1663
Feedback welcomed and appreciated.
Dick wandered around campus, not surprised at the posters that had sprung up overnight:
Special Lecture: The Ramifications of Gay Superheroes In Modern Culture Auditorium
Wednesday, 10:00 A.M. Open to All Get there early to get a seat!
Gotham U. Gay/Straight Alliance: Come join us for a party to celebrate the Super/Bat
Announcement! Friday night, 8:00 p.m., Student Union
Campus Crusaders for Christ: Come to the Student Union and sign our petition
protesting this deviancy! Cookies and punch served. Hear the loving Word of God!
Well, all very interesting. He waved and hurried over to Lori and Jack, two friends
who were sharing a copy of the Gazette.
“Wow, what about the news, huh?” Jack asked, blue eyes sparkling.
“Who knew that the Batman had in it in him?” Lori asked, tossing her blond hair back
from her eyes.
“You never know about what goes on beneath those capes.”
Dick joined in the laughter. Oh, god, if Bruce could see him now. Dead man walking!
He chuckled affectionately at his guardian’s reaction.
“So, you going to the party?” Lori asked.
“Um, I don’t know.” Dick had patrol, and Fridays were especially busy nights.
“C’mon, Dick, it should be super-cool, if you pardon the pun.” Jack winked. “I still
can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Bats is hot for the Boy Scout.”
“I don’t think he’s a Boy Scout anymore,” Lori said.
“Well, the Boy Scouts of America don’t allow gays, do they?”
Jack’s eyes widened. “Hey, yeah!”
Dick appreciated the irony.
The three of them began walking across campus. “I hope that after the initial
firestorm, it all blows over.” Lori folded the paper and put it under her arm.
“Well, I’m not sure if that’s going to happen,” Dick said. Though if Bruce has
anything to say about it…
“Not for a long time,” Jack added.
Dick thought of the superhero community. No one had contacted Clark or Bruce that he
knew of, but that didn’t mean anything. They could be getting calls or e-mails right
now. He hoped so. It was one thing to take disapproval from segments of the public,
but it would really hurt if their own colleagues gave them dirty looks and cold
Jack, Lori, and Dick settled into their Sociology 101 class, opening notebooks and
checking cellphones and Blackberrys. Lori murmured, “Disgusting,” and snapped her
cellphone shut. Dick was curious but had no time to ask her as the professor entered
the classroom, which was buzzing with the latest news, of course.
Professor Everett Adams was a man in his early fifties with graying hair, eyebrows that
reminded Dick of billionaire Simon Stagg, and cold, flinty eyes. He loved to use
sarcasm to belittle and bully students, but was also a brilliant sociology professor.
Dick had gone toe-to-toe with him a few times, but that made Adams respect him. He
had disliked the man at first, but was learning quite a bit about human nature, not
the least of which included the professor.
“All right, ladies and gentlemen, quiet.” Adams tweaked his tie and sat behind his desk,
folding his hands. “Since it’s all anyone’s talking about, let’s talk about our latest
gay couple.” His smile chilled Dick. “Now, what are the sociological ramifications of
such an announcement? Brewster!”
Tom Brewster jumped, then stammered, “I…I suppose…their status will change.”
“Excellent. And why is that? Anyone?”
Sally Simmons raised her hand. “Because people will perceive them as less now because
of their sexuality.”
Dick frowned. Unfortunately, what she had said was true.
Adams nodded his head, gleeful as he said, “Excellent again, Ms. Simmons! Now, we all
know why that perception exists. Inequality between the sexes still runs through our
society like a snake through grass, and that goes double when we’re discussing
homosexuality. Lesbians are often perceived as non-threatening, though they have their
share of troubles, too, but they are also considered masculine by those thinking
outdated stereotypes. Therefore, they have improved their status. Gay men, on the
other hand, have devalued their status by what is considered their effeminacy, and
therefore, female-like status.”
Dick nearly laughed when a student burst out, “How the hell can Superman and Batman be
“Good question, Dorman. How do you think the public will react to the question of
these two superheroes’ masculinity?”
Sally again. “They could be confused, Professor. In fact, this announcement of the
World’s Finest could help the gay cause.”
“By shattering the old stereotypes once and for all,” Lori added as Adams nodded to
Go, ladies! Dick silently cheered.
“Do you think the homophobic element of society will simply accept gayness now that
these two heroes have come out?”
Jack raised his hand. “I doubt it. Superman and Batman have always been pretty cool,
but now they’ll be considered deviant. There’s going to be a big backlash.” Jack’s
tone was definitely unhappy.
Dick felt the same way. He believed in his heart that everything was going to work
out, but he knew things frequently got worse before they got better.
“Mr. Grayson. Your thoughts?”
Dick was glad he could think quickly, a requirement for his night job. “What everyone
has said is true. Superman and…(tiny hesitation here) Batman will face a wall of
hostility from religious and right-wing political groups. Yet I do feel that in the
long run, they’ll be making a difference. Gay rights could make a giant leap forward,
though I’m not sure that either hero is inclined to become a poster boy for the gay
“Undoubtedly Batman is not, but what about Superman?”
Dick thought of the two men he knew best in the world, and said simply, “I can’t
answer that right now, Professor. I mean, both are careful about what causes they
support. They haven’t been political before this except to say go out and vote, and
Superman does that more than Batman. I don’t think they’ve ever come right out and
say they support equal rights for women and other minorities, including gays, but if
they stand for truth and justice, I would think that they do support such equality.”
Adams’ smile stretched across his face with an almost-leer. “Well said, Mr. Grayson.
Perhaps Lois Lane or Clark Kent can arrange an interview with Superman and get some
answers. I don’t believe the Batman sits for interviews.”
“Not usually,” Dick muttered under his breath as another hand went up.
“Professor, will this change society at all?”
Adams stroked his chin. “Well, Ms. Cartwright, it could very well do so. Despite what
our resident Bat thinks, he and Superman are role models. Their coming out could give
the gay rights movement quite a bit of ammunition.” He glared at a student who was
doodling in his notebook. “Weatherby! Care to join our discussion?”
George Weatherby sat up. “Sorry, sir, but I don’t see why we have to delve into all
this at all.”
“Oh? And why not, Mr. Weatherby?”
George shrugged. “I personally don’t see why we have to discuss faggots in class.”
Protests broke out, a few students nodding in agreement with the statement. Dick’s
insides went cold.
“Ah, so we have a homophobe in our midst.” Adams rubbed his hands in anticipatory glee.
“No, sir, you don’t.”
“Oh?” An arch of the Stagg-like eyebrow.
“I’m not afraid of homosexuals. I just don’t approve of their lifestyle.”
“Homosexuals have an orientation, not a lifestyle!” Sally said.
“Really? They have a choice!”
“Who would choose to be gay in this fucked-up, homophobic world?” Mike Dorman asked.
“That’s what they want you to think, fool!” George’s earnest tone chilled Dick more
than the crazed voice of the Joker. “Don’t you see, it’s just an agenda! They want us
to accept them and their perverted lifestyle, so they go on and on about rights when
what they really want are special rights. The marriage issue, for instance! Marriage
is sacred, unchanging, and meant for a man and a woman, not for two guys or two women!
Surely you can see that and haven’t been brainwashed by the liberal media!”
“You really believe that crap!” Lori asked wonderingly.
“Yeah, I do. It’s my right to believe it.”
“It’s your right, man, but you’re so off-base,” Jack said.
“These so-called superheroes who announced their perversion are just nothing but
perverts, plain and simple! They’ve gone and made mockeries out of what’s good and
right in America! I hope they get what’s coming to them!” His gray eyes glittered.
Dick clenched his fist under his desk. “So, just because someone’s gay they’re
“Ha ha, forgive me if I don’t laugh. What are you smokin’?” Dick leaned forward, blue
eyes flashing. “Superman and Batman are the same men who put their lives on the line
to protect sorry people like you every day. And, yes, Superman is invulnerable but
we’ve seen him hurt, too. He and Batman do their best to serve a world that’s often
ungrateful. They’ll continue to do it, too, and would save your bigoted butt even if
you were spewing that hatred right in their faces!”
Dick forced himself to calm down. George frowned and Lori and Jack were smiling at
Dick, several other students nodding and grinning, too.George said, “Well, we’ll see, Grayson. Batman fits right in with
this wacko city. I don’t even want to think of what he gets up to
with Robin!” Dick clutched his knee, desperate to keep a Bat-like
façade. “But then, this city is full of pervs. Right, Dickie?”
“Mr. Weatherby, that will be quite enough. Personal attacks are not tolerated. I
allow you people to have a freewheeling discussion and you start to sink to the gutter.
Control yourself, please.”
Dick and George glared at each other and George turned away to face the front of the
room. Lori’s hand squeezed Dick’s and he gave her a smile.
Man, the World’s Finest was going to have to be careful.