I’m p sure he was casually mentioned as romani (w the g-slur of course yikes @ that) in the novelization of Greg Rucka’s NML that came out in 2000, shortly before Devin Grayson’s run? Either way, thanks to the retcon and the hashtag confirmed-as-textual-romani in rebirth, dick’s been a romani char since I started reading comics in 2006 and I’ve read him as romani since day 1 so it’s all good here 😎 💁🏽
Sorry to get a bit preachy on your post, FYDG, but I have THOUGHTS spiraling off of yours:
A reminder to folks and followers that wanting BETTER representation for Romani people and proper acknowledgment of Dick’s heritage and ethnicity in the wake of Devin Grayson’s writing over a decade a go is completely reasonable.
Dick is one of a handful of textually and explicitly Romani characters in comics and unfortunately, his heritage hasn’t been handled well or developed beyond throwaway lines. Fighting or demanding that DC do better makes sense and can help bring visibility and increase representation for a marginalized community.
Demanding that his Romani heritage be erased entirely or saying that it doesn’t matter because it’s such a “small” part of his history or because it hasn’t been handled well? Not so much.
Dick is Romani in canon. It was never retconned and survived the two soft-reboots that led to the character’s current incarnation. If you have beef with how Devin Grayson portrayed that (her use of the g-slur for one), take it up with her… But it’s been a decade or more since she last wrote for DC so… Good luck with that.
But there are other writers out there who have brought Dick’s heritage into his current canon(s).
At this point, what fandom should be fighting for is more recognition of this heritage into canon. They should be fighting for Dick’s actor in the eventually upcoming Nightwing movie to be played by an actor of Romani descent. They should be trying to get Romani creators on a Nghtwing book and talking about the potential the character has.
Not demanding that Dick be read as white because a) they’ve held a grudge against Devin Grayson from before they could even read her comics (again, made a DECADE ago) or b) because they hate racebending and think that whiteness is in anyway inherent or integral to comic characters that aren’t white supremacists.
The former, is an honest attempt at trying to get representation done right.
Is an attempt at erasure, plain and simple.