Okay…the culture war isn’t exactly over yet…but we are in its last hours. From Towleroad…
Archie Comics CEO John Goldwater has responded to a campaign from American Family Association project One Million Moms asking Toys R Us to remove an issuefeaturing gay character Kevin Keller’s marriage from its shelves.
“We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”
It’s an idealized version of America… Even as the hatemongers in Florida managed to enact a constitutional amendment banishing same-sex couples from marriage equality, Disney World began letting those same couples have their magic day in the Disney World Wedding Pavilion, with Cinderella’s Castle poised above Main Street USA in the background. Disney Maggie. Riverdale. Main Street USA. That idealized version of America Maggie…Robert…Tony…Peter…we’re a part of it. We were always a part of it. A hidden part because for generations hate mongers like you preached that we were alien to that vision. That we were corrupters, destroyers. The ideal had to be protected from us. But if anyone was a corrupter of that ideal Maggie, Robert, Tony, Peter…it was you.
When the day came that your kind could no longer reliably teach us to hate ourselves, that was the beginning of the end of the lie. The final act of it has arrived in the form of an Archie comic book no less. Picasso once said that art is a lie that makes us see the truth. Riverdale is no more real then Disney World but it is the story we tell ourselves. And it is one thing for gay folk to tell it to ourselves, to imagine a time when we have our rightful place in the telling and retelling of the ideal, and another when our heterosexual neighbors begin to tell themselves that story and write us into it, insist that the ideal isn’t…well…ideal…until we are part of it too.
The happily ever after part. The it’s a small world after all part. The free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people part. Yes, it’s a vastly romanticized ideal. But if you don’t have a dream, how you goin’ to have a dream come true? What was your dream all this time Maggie, Robert, Tony, Peter…all this time you were looking your neighbors in the face and telling them lies about each other? What part of that idealized vision of America did you think you were?