Tag Archives: one million moms

Archie Comics’ Big Gay Kiss

14 Aug

KellerKissArchie Comics’ first gay character continues to blaze trails for equality. Since his introduction three years ago, Kevin Keller has become one of the publisher’s most popular characters. He received his own title only months after his introduction and his appearances have been instrumental in the updating of life in idyllic Riverdale. Kevin Keller #10 continues this trend with a story that mixes Archie-style hijinks with solid social commentary.

Kevin recently began dating Devon, a young man who ran away from home when his father reacted badly to discovering he was gay. Devon is staying with Kevin’s pal (and frequent Archie love interest) Veronica Lodge. After events of the past couple of issues, Devon decides to return home to reconcile. After a chat at Pop’s diner, he and Kevin exchange a quick kiss.

A woman in the diner responds badly, accusing the couple of trying to corrupt her young daughter. Veronica rushes to their defense, and Pop himself bans the woman from the diner for her bigotry and disruption. Things get wacky (this is a comic book, after all) when Veronica accidentally posts the kiss to YouTube. The story goes viral, threatening to disrupt Devon’s plans and creating a media frenzy.

The blend of social justice and comic energy is perfect. Kevin just wants to be a normal teenager, a theme that helps make his book so charming and successful. Accepting the responsibility thrust on him by circumstance, he agrees to appear on Ellen to discuss the hyperbolic response to a simple kiss.

The issue also takes a poke at the infamous group One Million Moms, the hyperbolically named group that has mounted failed boycotts and protests of many representations of LGBT people. The group went after Archie Comics last year when the series Life With Archie, set in the future, featured Kevin’s wedding to his partner Clay. Using Ellen as the group’s clever foil, the story dismantles their homophobia and hypocrisy nicely while staying true to the characters and overall story.

The pacing is excellent and the characters are strong and believable. Writer and artist Dan Parent manages to convey important messages without being overly preachy. Besides Pop’s stand for equality, Riverdale High Mr. Wetherbee makes a bold statement about treating everyone fairly. Archie and his current African-American girlfriend reflect that their kiss at Pop’s would have created a similar stir not too long ago.

It’s an Archie Comic, so everything works out pretty well in the end. The story rings very true and the characters are strong. Devon’s interaction with his father is realistic but hopeful. Kevin and Devon continue to grow as characters and as a couple. Deftly handled and cleverly written, Kevin Keller #10 gets a full five stars for telling an important story and remaining true to the spirit of fun that readers expect from Archie.

We Will Prevail

26 May

Today’s article was written by TSM contributor James Queale.

This week, like many weeks, was filled with bitter homophobes who said and did outrageous things. Like the North Carolina pastor who advocated putting gays and lesbians into separate pens so that we can die off; or the mindless cluster fuck known as “One Million Moms” and their never-ending complaints about homosexuals indoctrinating children through media.

Let’s forget about those people today and take a look at a recent video that shows yet again that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is dead.

Videos and pictures like this have been becoming commonplace these days. It is videos and pictures like this that give me hope and make me remember that we are winning this fight. Anti-gay groups are getting louder because they are losing and deep down they know it. I really feel like they are on their last hurrah. If you look closely, people are evolving all over the place and there appears to be a recent surge thanks to Obama.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Nicholas Klein or Gandhi (Disputed)

Hero of the Week Award: March 2, Archie Comics

2 Mar

Hero of the Week

Today we are pleased to honor the continued commitment of what was once a surprising player in LGBT equality, Archie Comics. The company has a reputation as being conservative and traditional, bolstered by an ill-advised 70s partnership with a right-wing evangelical publisher. Over the past few years, however, the Archie brand has been surprisingly successful at re-inventing itself and creating a relevant, safe place for young comic readers to see how everyone really can get along.

Last year Archie Comics made a great move toward equality by introducing their first gay character, the loveable Kevin Keller. Creator Dan Parent made Kevin a realistic, complex character. He happens to be gay; he’s also a teen in Riverdale, so he has his share of typical misadventures but also knows everyone loves and supports him. It’s a great message for LGBTQ youth and their allies and families. While previous diversity characters have been given short shrift after their initial introductions, Kevin has quickly become an Archie mainstay. After taking over Veronica for four issues (and exploring coming out, dating, bullying, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell), Kevin was given his own title which debuted last month. It’s off to a promising start and Kevin looks to be a vital part of the Riverdale community.

The company took equality even farther last month. In the Life With Archie series which shows the life of the characters as adults, they celebrated Kevin’s wedding to his partner, Clay. In typical Riverdale fashion, no-one bats an eye at true marriage equality and the wedding is a marvelous, supportive event. They are also a bi-racial couple, adding to the “everyone belongs” message. That issue alone was almost enough to earn the company HWA. But this week they did even better.

The American Family Association’s One Million Moms project noted the presence of Life With Archie #16 in Toys ‘R’ Us stores and started another boycott attempt. The extremist hate group objected to the presence of a loving same-sex couple on the cover of a comic book. So far Toys ‘R’ Us has not replied (perhaps not wishing to waste time debating with lunatics?). Archie Comics, on the other hand, came out with a strong, wonderful statement issued by CEO John Goldwater.

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.

Way to go Archie Comics. Let’s hope your efforts speed the pace by which all of America becomes a bit more like Riverdale when it comes to inclusion.

Hero of the Week Award: February 10, JCPenney

10 Feb

Hero of the Week

What a pleasure to see a corporation earning Hero of the Week instead of Bigot for a change. For TSM, it’s also a bit surprising that the company is JCPenney. This retail chain has made some bad decisions in the past, but seems determined to make amends and move forward as a more humane company. In an effort to rebrand themselves and become more relevant in the American retail market, JCPenney brought on new CEO Ron Johnson last November. He helped revolutionize electronics marketing with the Apple Store during his ten years with that company. His goal is to make sure that JCPenney resonates with what he calls “true American values”: fair play and the golden rule.

In a move to support that effort, he sought out a corporate spokesperson and eventually hired Ellen DeGeneres. The maniacal  mob known as One Million Moms protested that a “family company” would not dare to use a lesbian spokesperson. Ellen spoke out on her show, laughing at the organization and defending JCPenney. CEO Ron Johnson appeared on CBS This Morning and aggressively defended both the partnership and Ellen. Saying that she “perfectly represents the values of America and JCPenney” he acknowledged the right of any person or group to speak their mind and the right of everyone else to ignore them. Stressing that he felt that Ellen interviewed JCPenney far more than they interviewed her, he was grateful that she agreed to come aboard and called her the “perfect person.” He even went so far as to say that he had “no doubts or regrets whatsoever.”

For the balance of the interview, Johnson discussed the rebranding of JCPenney as a friendly and fair company. One impressive move is his determination to end so-called Black Friday sales and hours since they are unfair to workers. “A store should be  part of someone’s life, not consume it,” he said, further indicating that he thinks that to be true for customers and employees both. Bravo to Ellen, Ron Johnson, and JCPenney. Let’s hope their efforts to make in-person retailing more human and humane are rewarded.  Not only will I have to start spending my money at JCPenney, but maybe the bigoted Rick Santorum needs to realize what the fabric of America looks like!

One Million Mommies Dearest: A Call to Crazy

12 Sep

Just One of the 1 Million Moms

I first heard about One Million Moms because of the petition they started and sent to PBS, “Not to marry Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street and not to introduce a transgender character.”  Wow!  What a great message to send to your kids: “Mommy loves you only if you are heterosexual and only if you are not transgender–now get the Bon Ami and scrub the bathroom!”

While this may seem like much ado about nothing, I fear that One Million Moms has such horrible power that they were able to influence the athletic shoe company Finish Line to alter their commercial.  Apparently, there was an art class with a model in the background of the commercial — 1 Million Mean Maniacal Moms had the ad agency air brush out the art model.

Alas, the craziness continues with 1 Million Mean Maniacal Moms, who are now after ABC and Chaz Bono.  The Statement from the 1 Million Mean Maniacal Moms is:

Email ABC Network and let them know that we will not tolerate LGBT subjects being forced into our homes. DWTS airs 8/7 central when children are awake and Christian families will not enhance the ratings by watching the show unless these cast members are replaced.

Again, lovely message about conditional love.  “Listen up children, Mommy can’t love you if you are anything but Christian and heterosexual.”  Is it any wonder why Cyndi Lauper had to start True Colors Residence.  These crazy bigoted moms are also now going after a specific Levi’s commercial because of the following:

The dialogue also mentions “your life is your life, the gods wait to delight in you, the gods will offer you chances, know them, take them.” It goes on to say “There are ways out, you can’t beat death, but you can beat death in life sometimes. The more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.

Here are two specific things that really stick in my craw. One: I’m really tired of the internalized misogyny that tells women keep your baby no matter what–protect the fetus at all cost and oh, by the way, reject the child if it is not exactly who you thought it would be.  Secondly, I’m really starting to believe the government need to test and then license parents, which hopefully would preclude dogmatic bigots from having children, which ends up being a serious financial drain long term, not to mention the damage they do to their children.

Here is how I like to think of parenting, and I also just love Sweet Honey in the Rock

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