Spoilers and rant ahead!
Let me tell you about a character in Archie Comics named Kevin Keller. He is my favorite Archie Comics character of all time, with Reggie and Betty tying for a close second. Introduced in 2010 as Archie Comics' first gay character, Kevin was welcomed to Riverdale with open arms, quickly becoming close friends with both Jughead and Veronica. He quickly became president of his class, and one of his first acts was to build a 9/11 memorial on the school grounds. A military brat who'd travelled around the world, Kevin was interested in journalism and comic books, ran track, frequently engaged in eating contests with Jughead, entered a Jeopardy
-like game show on national television, worked as a lifeguard, and counselled a former bully of his who was going through a rough time at home.
Very few of his stories focused on being gay, with even fewer centered on homophobia; his sexuality was acknowledged and 99.5% of the time simply accepted without second thought. No one significant really thought it was any big deal that Kevin Keller liked boys. In Afterlife With Archie
(the zombie apocalypse AU), while Kevin does endure some homophobia from Reggie, he's also a badass archer who routinely takes out zombies with just a bow and arrow.
That is to say, the Kevin Keller of the comics is a far cry from the catty gay stereotype who appears on Riverdale
for the sole purpose of being the gay BFFs with whatever female character is standing nearby.( Read more... )