Despite Conroy being one of only a handful of openly LGBTQ actors to play a superhero, many 'Batman' fans seem to have missed this information.
Some fans of DC Comics' "Batman" were in for a pleasant and thrilling surprise last week when they learned that one of the most influential men to play the Dark Knight is, in fact, openly gay. Despite only ever showing his face on screen for the role once, actor Kevin Conroy—who is best known for voicing the Caped Crusader in a series of DC Animated series and films over the past 30 years—has defined the character for fans who grew up with his shows. Since joining the DC universe by providing his deep and resonant voice to Bruce Wayne for "Batman: The Animated Series," an Emmy Award-winning show that explored the character and his villains, the Julliard-trained actor is considered a core member of the DC universe by many fans.
Over the years, Conroy has made no secret of his sexuality, discussing his life as a gay man and survival of the 1980s AIDS crisis numerous times in interviews. Speaking to The New York Times in 2016 about his role in a Broadway production of "Eastern Standard," playing a TV producer secretly living with AIDS, he said: "I went to so many funerals that I felt such a sense of obligation to do it right." During a moment alone onstage, Conroy revealed, he would break down. "Every night I would just wail, feeling all the pain. I couldn't not feel it. It was a scream of, 'Look what's happening to us! Help!'"
Heads up! Kevin Conroy is writing a story for the upcoming DC Pride 2022 anthology one-shot! Available in print and digital on May 31, Conroy is writing "Finding Batman," a personal story with art by J.Bone and Aditya Bidikar. Don't miss this, folks! #DCPride #KevinConroy #Batman pic.twitter.com/XOVdz9yDSQ— James Harvey @ The World's Finest 🏳️🌈 (@worldsfinest) April 13, 2022
Despite Conroy being one of only a handful of openly LGBTQ actors to play a superhero, a good chunk of "Batman" fans somehow seem to have missed his years of life as an out gay man. The realization came as a surprise to them this month when DC Comics announced the creative minds behind 2022's Pride Anthology, a series of stories penned by high-profile LGBTQ authors and drawn by famous queer artists centered around the label's LGBTQ characters.
Kevin Conroy is writing a Batman story for DC Pride and if that isn't the coolest thing in the world! pic.twitter.com/IlLaBgIMEq— Ashley💖|TheBatFamily 🦇 (@TheBat_Family) April 13, 2022
According to Gizmodo, Conroy will be telling his own, "personal" story in the series. Speaking of the segment—titled "Finding Batman"—DC editor Andrea Shea revealed that the actor's first foray as a comics writer is a doozy. "2022 marks 30 years of Batman: The Animated Series so it only felt right to honor Kevin Conroy, THE voice of Batman for multiple generations. And we were FLOORED when he delivered a deeply moving personal story in collaboration with J. Bone and Aditya Bidikar," she said.
How did I not know Kevin Conroy was gay?????😭 https://t.co/Jbw7Lc66x3— Ollie 🏹 (@TheQuiver_) April 13, 2022
Many fans took to Twitter to share their surprise and delight at the news of Conroy's involvement in the anthology and their delayed realization of his sexuality. "Kevin Conroy writing a story for the DC Pride special is so goddamn wonderful. That man has been THE voice of Batman for as long as I've been alive and has been so foundational for so many folks who may not even know he's gay. It feels truly earned and special, I can't wait," tweeted @Blankzilla. "It's one of those things where queer people have ALWAYS been here and been involved in all the things you love and consider important and how easily that can be glossed over or not noticed. It's wonderful he's getting that spotlight to tell this story."
This is what I mean— The Italian Misato Katsuragi (@Blankzilla) April 13, 2022
Like Conroy is openly gay but it also isn't something that comes up a lot! This is easily the most visible and loud statement I can recall and it's fucking great pic.twitter.com/XPTJQz0GVU
Here are some more of the best reactions from fans:
the stars aligned this way, take it up with the Gods !— Diana. (WW3 news today please help me) (@HailEternal) April 13, 2022
“Kevin Conroy is gay? Didn’t know he was a fa-“ pic.twitter.com/AzQcTvA2c8— Matches Malone (@cell_0801) April 13, 2022
batman has always been for the gays— aj ! ❤️ + ⚡️ (@teentltanz) April 13, 2022
Conservatives, 30 seconds after learning Kevin Conroy is gay: pic.twitter.com/wXtrGAiesz— Jason Colavito (@JasonColavito) April 13, 2022
Today i learned Kevin Conroy is gay. This is blowing my mind in a "thats fucking awesome" kind of way.— Matt // Dracula CEO 🩸 (@XMIVulcan) April 13, 2022
Oh...... Well Now I just want there's a podcast where him and Mark Hamil Jokingly Flirt with each other or Read Batman X Joker Fanfics for an hour— Danny Caracciolo (@ApocalypseChaos) April 13, 2022