I’m here again with a second update on all things aroace Jughead Jones and the wonderful erasure that The CW’s Riverdale is giving us every Thursday night (note: sarcasm), or Friday morning if you’re like me and live in the U.K. I honestly can’t believe I am here again writing about this topic, especially after the amount of people tweeting, and posting about this erasure. Here’s the first post I wrote about this topic, and the update that followed.
But once again we are still being ignored. Which is honestly so disgusting. I’ve said this many times, but there is no way that they (@CW_Riverdale on Twitter) couldn’t have at least seen ONE #AroAceJugheadOrBust tweets in their mentions, I doubt their show viewers are tweeting them daily about the show, especially at the mass the aro and ace communities are tweeting them.
The reason why I decided to write another post about this is to expand on everything I couldn’t put into 140 characters on Twitter (even with the threads). During the week this erasure really affected me because I decided to check my tumblr mutuals (people you follow and they follow you) to see who supports the show that erases my identity and I follow at least 800 blogs on tumblr and I was flabbergasted with how many people, whom I unfollowed, that supported this show that erases my identity. It made me feel so invalid, so invisible. And the fact that they also followed me hit me really hard, because they had to have seen my tumblr posts about it, because lately that’s all I had been posting about. People I called my tumblr friends even post and support the show and that was the biggest kick in the gut. Supporting and ignoring the fact that Riverdale is actively erasing Jughead’s canon aroaceness is aphobic by both the writers and the viewers. I understand that some people may not know about Jughead’s aromanticism and asexuality. I had an experience with a fellow mutual who came to me and apologised about it (after they read a very long and personal post that I wrote about exactly how the show’s erasure was affecting me) and said they would no longer support the show. And honestly that one interaction made my day 100x better than it was. I am here to educate people on this matter, and I understand that maybe some people might have not seen my posts because of school, work etc and I full on accept that.
I accept if you support the show yet you don’t support the side to the show that is erasing a queer identity and actively speak out about it. What I won’t, can’t accept is the people who see my tweets and/or tumblr posts and continue to ignore this matter and celebrate the show, especially if we are friends.
Please don’t ignore the erasure that Riverdale is participating in, it is harmful for the aro and ace communities because we are fighting so hard for this representation that was always ours. We are not fighting for a character who maybe aroace, Jughead Jones is aroace. Don’t ignore it! Please. You don’t have to be aro, ace, or aroace to stand up for what is right. We want more allies to stand with us, to prove to us that we deserve to be represented, that we are valid, and we aren’t in visible. What Riverdale is doing is so harmful and I wish that it wasn’t praised as much as it was.
At times this topic makes me feel so helpless, because no matter what I try to do it seems only a small amount of people care. It’s hard to get celebrities to talk about it because they either don’t care about aroace representation or they don’t watch the show at all.
It’s shows like Riverdale that 1) give me motivation to write my own novel with an aroace main character but 2) make me scared of that “what if”. Like “what if my novel does well and it gets an adaptation and this happens to my character”. As someone who is writing an aroace character as an aroace the character means so much to me, that if this ever happened to my character I would be furious of this change. I don’t know the Archie comics writer, but he must not have this deep connection that aroaces do with aroace Jughead because he would’ve fought with us, instead of ignoring us as well.
I want to expand on my tweet, which said the following “#JugheadRepresents a reminder that we are 100% valid, there are other people like us, & it’s okay to love being aroace #AroAceJugheadOrBust”. How can Riverdale not want to promote something that would help someone feel valid? Loved? Understood? Accepted? I don’t understand. It took me a long time to get to where I am now with my aroaceness and having a character like Jughead, who is aroace, on-screen would’ve helped me so much more and probably learned to love myself quicker than it took me without him. I can’t speak for everyone but I believe the majority of us when they hear (at least) “canon asexual character” their minds automatically go to Jughead Jones.
To be honest I’m getting to the stage where I am just repeating myself in different ways, and I’m sorry for that. But I feel like if I don’t stress this topic out, if I don’t stand up for what I believe in I will regret it, and this erasure will become the “norm” and other shows/movies/media will do it. And I don’t want that to happen, I don’t want another Riverdale.
So please stand with us, stop this erasure of queer identies. And maybe I’ll see you in another week with update number three.