Riverdale’s AroAce Erasure: What I’ve Learnt From It.

It’s probably strange of me to write a post like this but honestly this erasure has given me such a learning curve as an aroace person and I thought you know what I want to shed some light in a sad and angry situation.

Obviously there’s some negatives to this erasure so I’m going to share those first. And then end on the positives.

Some people just don’t care. I can speak first hand that a majority of people don’t care, I’ve seen the reaction of people when I’ve had to unfollow dozens of people on a variety of different social media sites as well as going in the tags to block aphobic people. When you know people have seen your hurt and anger but are still choosing to ignore it, it really does hurt. It tells us that you don’t care about our struggles, our pain. The fact people don’t care takes me back to the fact that asexuality and specifically aromanticism are “invisible” identities which leads into my next point…

Lack of education. Without Tumblr I don’t know if I’d ever would have come across the terms “aromantic” and/or “asexual” because there’s so many things that we aren’t taught because of this heteronormative world. Similarly to what I’ve said above the lack of education on both aromanticism and asexuality is very obvious in the writers and the actor who is playing Jughead. Because throughout the past months many of them have said very invalidating and aphobic things, and it feeds off to the fandom, which use it against us. When an actor who was on our side with our representation turns against us we see it, the Riverdale fandom sees it and then we see that people are against us. And that they want us to experience that pain. If they don’t know much information on an aroace person’s experiences then they won’t know how much it is damaging when it comes to their writing. And because of the lack of education they flip our criticism and our want to educate into us being called “haters” and feeding off “discourse” when none of that is true. If the writers, and actors listened to the criticism, read through the #AroAceJugheadOrBust tag, read our threads they’d understand how much hurt we are suffering because of it.

Our voices should be heard but are being ignored. I still remember that moment when we found out that the writers knew about asexual Jughead (not sure if they knew about aromantic Jughead but they probably did) and that one of the writer’s knew the comic writer who finally gave the name “asexual” to a character who has been portrayed as such for years. I remember that anger that built up inside me, there’s most likely a post on this blog that I made about it. Why should we be heard? Because a show shouldn’t be allowed to cause this must hurt without a good reasoning or message. You know what the aroace erasure is telling me, especially with putting Jughead in a relationship with Betty? It tells me that I’m invalid, that I’m broken and need fixing. And how do I fix myself? I do that by putting myself in a relationship. That’s the message Riverdale is giving off to many aroaces. Break your boundaries, force yourself into a romantic relationship you don’t want. Sorry to burst your bubble Riverdale writers but I’ve done it in the past and it’s not great. It’s terrible. It’s damaging and dangerous especially for the aroace people.

Onto the (somewhat?) positives because even through this darkness there has been some light, surprisingly and I feel like my blog posts have been mostly talking about the hurt and anger of this situation (which is valid) but I want to talk about the positives because I wouldn’t be here without these positive parts of this situation. The positives aren’t really directly from Riverdale itself more so of the people I’ve surrounded myself with because of what Riverdale is doing.

Our pain, our anger, our disappointment is valid. This one I went back and forth with whether or not to put it under negatives or positives. Because the first half of the sentence is negative but the fact that I’m saying that it’s valid is a positive. Because it is a positive. We are allowed to be angry, we are allowed to be hurt and disappointed because they’ve taken such an iconic character from us and turned him into something he isn’t. Speaking for myself when discovering I was aroace Jughead was one of the few characters I found out was like me. And I used knowing this as validation. Because if the people around you aren’t accepting you there’s someone out there who does. There is other people out there like you. And that’s okay. This iconic character is aromantic and asexual just like you. You are valid. So the pain we are feeling, it’s okay to feel it, to embrace it, to share our stories to show the importance of the meaning of this character. All of it is okay. (I feel like I may have used “okay” a little too much here).

It’s made me stronger. Before this situation, especially if it happened when i was first figuring out I was aromantic and asexual, it probably would’ve broken me. Depending on where I was in my life I am grateful that it’s happened now rather than before. It’s made me realise that it’s okay to share my story as an aroace person and how this situation could affect aroace people badly because of the way a character who is like us has been twisted for a show. I now longer fear that this situation will get worse, I have a way to channel my anger and my sadness of the situation and I have the strength to overcome it and share it. This blog is evidence of my strength.

It’s made me more confident in finding good representation. I used to just cling to any representation that I could find even if it was harmful. But Riverdale’s twisted erasure has shown me that instead of looking for the bad I need to look for the good and that means looking elsewhere. It means finding #ownvoices books, and supporting actual aroace/ace/aro authors, who care about us being represented and wanting to share our story. Because of this situation I’ve started to read so many good books that have real and healthy representations of aro characters, ace characters, and aroace characters. And it’s a great way to feel so validated and loved because of this amazing work that people are doing with sharing their experiences through their characters.

It’s made me more confident in my own story writing. If you didn’t know for a whilst now I’ve actually been writing my own novel. This novel in fact has an aromantic asexual lead character. And this situation has given me a boost of energy to get my novel finished and out there, so that there is good representation and that my story, my experiences are heard. Because if you’re going to take away characters who represent me I’m going to make my own. For every aroace character who is straightwashed, or stripped of his/her/they/etc aromantic identity I will write another aroace, aro, or ace character to full my anger. Through writing a story with an aroace main I’ve been able to address so much that I couldn’t address before in the right words through my story telling and my characters. And it truly has made me feel better. I can take this situation, twist and bend it a little and have my characters react to it.

It’s brought me closer to both the aro and ace communities. I kind of felt like an outsider when it came to the aro and ace communities because I didn’t really know anyone and I was fairly new to discovering that I was aroace. But because of the erasure I’ve talked to so many aro/ace/aroace people who also share the pain and hurt of this situation and it’s helped me see and understand the amount of people are in our communities and that are hurt because of this situation.

It showed me who my real friends are. What I mean by this is that it’s showed me who exactly cares about the fact that a character that is like me is being stripped of everything he should be. And how much they care that it’s giving me a lot of hurt. Obviously I can’t stop any of my friends from watching a show but it’s shown me if they’d rather support an aphobic show or support their friend. If they’ve been there for me, and are helping out with the #AroAceJugheadOrBust campaign and if they are pointing out to other people that this cannot stand. It has really shown me who out of my friends care more about their shipping “rights” over their friend who this situation is making xir feel invalid most of the time.

It showed me who are both indirectly and directly aphobic. It’s probably ironic that this and my next point are on this list because both are probably for a lot of people are going to seem negative but for me they’re not. Why? Because I don’t want aphobic people in my life. Understanding the difference between indirect and direct aphobia has started to become more clear because of this situation. And direct aphobia is when people actively ship Jughead romantically with any character, even when aroaces have told them that their ship is aphobic and they’ve chosen to ignore it. Indirect aphobia is basically if the person is unaware of the situation and ships Jughead romantically “harmlessly”. You’re probably thinking how can someone not know about this especially with how much I’ve talked about it or other people have. It’s sadly quite simple. They don’t follow enough aros, aces, and aroaces who are speaking up about the erasure. Or if they follow just me, for example, they don’t see it because of timezones, or their Tumblr dash or Twitter timeline is so full that they never get a chance to see it.

It showed me who is specifically arophobic. As I’ve spoken about in previous posts it’s taken me a lot longer to accept being aromantic than it did being asexual. And through this situation I’ve realised how many people are more accepting of Jughead being asexual than him being aromantic. Because of their shipping “rights”. The reason why this is on my positive list is because I don’t want aphobic people, especially arophobic people in my life or anywhere near me. Having struggled with internalised arophobia for at least a year and finally overcoming it I don’t need to see people who are like “Jughead can still be asexual even if he’s with Betty” or some other shit excuse like that and deliberately ignoring and erasing Jughead’s aromanticism. I know exactly who I should and shouldn’t follow (and who I should block) when it comes to social media (my Tumblr life is so much more fun now that I no longer follow anyone who posts Riverdale and now that I’ve blocked (mostly) everyone in the romantic!Jughead ship tags).

I’ve probably repeated myself a million and one times not just in this blog alone but repeating stuff I’ve said before but the reason for that is because there are certain things that need to be addressed, that are so important that people need to know but aren’t listening too. It’s why many of us are saying the same things over and over again but in different ways.

If you want to know more about this situation please follow more aroaces. Boost our voices. And let us be heard. Don’t allow Riverdale or any other show *cough* Shadowhunters *cough* get away with aroace erasure (in Shadowhunters case just aromantic erasure). Because this hurts a lot of us.

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Fifth Update.

Hi there, it’s me again. Since my last update on this topic things have got a lot worst in my opinion. In this blog post I’m going to talk mostly about just the aromantic side of Jughead’s identity, the erasure of it, and the erasure from both the ace community and alloromantic people in general.

The reason why I’ve decided to focus mainly on just his aromanticism is because I’ve seen a lot of non aroaces say “even though Betty and Jughead are in a relationship doesn’t mean that Jughead can’t be ace” when in all honest that statement is true, it is not true in Jughead’s case. Because he’s not just asexual. He is aromantic, and touch adverse, and romance repulsed as well as being asexual. Being asexual isn’t the “most important part” of his sexuality, the aromanticism is too.

Alloromantic Aces do not have the right to speak over aromantic asexuals! We aroaces have the right here. Jughead is aroace and you should not speak over us. Saying that he can “still be ace” but not mentioning his aromanticism anywhere is arophobic. Putting a character who is aromantic, touch adverse, and romance repulse in a relationship where the character should and would feel uncomfortable is arophobic. And it’s a common trait seen in aromantic people who are unsure or hate their identity. How do I know? Because I was this person. Changing Jughead to a gay ace, pan ace, bi ace, ANYTHING but aro ace is arophobic. Jughead has always been aromantic and asexual. Chip Zdarsky many times has confirmed this as canon, saying that was how he was writing Jughead.

I talked about my experiences with romance a lot in previous “Why AroAce Jughead Is Important” and in my #ArospecAwarenessWeek posts, as well as on twitter. But for people who haven’t I’ve always known that romance wasn’t for me, I’d always questioned it but because of the way the world views romance I hated myself for feeling different, I thought I was unlovable, ugly, and many other things. And because of that I forced myself into a relationship with a guy I had already said no to, we were really close friends. I would say he was my soulmate (but not the romantic kind, but I didn’t know this). And around two years into said relationship I started questioning my identity. I realised I was asexual and pretty much accepted it straight away, I’d always been somewhat sex repulsed, but what took me longer was accepting that I was aromantic. Because how could I be aromantic when I was in this, what I thought was, loving relationship. I love him right? I guess I did love him but not in the romantic sense, I probably never did. But because I was confused with what love was I just assumed it was. And because of that I denied my aromanticism and stayed in that relationship for at least a year. And I faced both acephobia and arophobia because of it. It’s taken me a long time to get me where I am with my aromanticism and the erasure hurts me so much because this was the first step for young aros to not experience what I did.

So bearing what I said about my personal life how can Riverdale fix this even with Bughead being canon? I talked about it a lot in this twitter thread but I’ll go into more detail. I know that it won’t satisfy us aros because in the comics Jughead is very confident of himself from the beginning, but if we really have to change things (like Riverdale has done with everything) they can easily change this to a self discovery story. If you’ve read my twitter thread you can probably skip this because it’s mostly repetition. Use Bughead (Betty and Jughead’s ship name) to show how amanormative the world is. Have them or Jughead realise that they’re better off as friends, and have Jughead realise what he’s experiencing isn’t romantic attraction but actually what is called a squish (an aromantic term for friendship crush). Use this to show how the world focuses on the “importance” of romantic love and how Jughead doesn’t fit that, how he really doesn’t fit it. Let him discover his boundaries as a touch adverse, romance repulsed aroace. This won’t fix the damage Riverdale has already done but it would give us the correct, and canon representation we always had.

The only problem, or rather two problems, I have with this way of making Jughead aroace is that the way Cole Sprouse is acting as Jughead doesn’t give off a touch adverse and romance repulsed vibe. Jughead in the comics would never touch Betty’s cheeks like he did in the show (I don’t really know what’s going on in the show, I’m going on a picture that I saw on my Twitter timeline). I don’t know who kissed who, or if that’s happened yet, but if Jughead initiated it in the show he would never do it in the comics. And if he didn’t his reaction would probably be so different to what it probably was. So the majority of the damage is done, but it can be fixed. But will they? I’m no longer holding out hope if I’m honest. I will continue writing about it, I will be continuing to fight this erasure.

One last thing: Riverdale writers if you don’t know how to write an aroace character well just ask an aroace, it’s not hard. To be honest we are all willing to help Riverdale if they genually would like to go ahead with canon aroace Jughead. Research is the key here. But if you don’t want to and if you thing that a character cannot be written well without romance then you really need to do some research or something, because that’s a very harmful way to think.

If you would like to see all my #AroAceJugheadOrBust related twitter threads I’ve linked all of them here. All my “Why AroAce Jughead Is Important” are now filed under its own category called AroAceJugheadOrBust and any future #AroAceJugheadOrBust related posts will be filed under that category as well. 

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Fourth Update.

You’re probably thinking something like Lauren didn’t you just post the third update like a couple of days ago? Or something like that right? Well I know I recently just done update three but there’s been photos floating around Twitter of either the new episode that has just aired or the new episodes coming and I literally am so angry that I need to vent it out.

I first want to talk about the Jughead kiss picture that has surfaced and the other one where Jughead is extremely close to the same girl (I think it’s Betty, I’m not 100% sure I’m not an expert on the show characters and who is playing who because I don’t watch it). I want to explain why this infuriates me so much. Jughead is a character within the comics who has repeatedly said how much he doesn’t like kissing, how uncomfortable he is with people touching him, hugging him etc. They are throwing this character out of his canon boundaries, they’re throwing our aroace character back in our faces and showing us that this is the “right” way a character should be. Riverdale was supposed to show the aro and ace communities that we are perfect the way we are, that we don’t need fixing and that it doesn’t matter that we are aroace and we don’t fit the “norms” of society.

Jughead in the comics would never stand for this, this would make him so uncomfortable. It makes me so uncomfortable. I don’t know how many times I can say this but Riverdale is telling me that I need to be fixed, that I need to conform with this world that thinks sex and romance is so important, which makes me uncomfortable. Why are people allowing this to happen? Why aren’t more people outraged by this?

The second thing I would like to talk about is the Riverdale fandom and how they are so accepting of this erasure and heck even shipping people with Jughead. I need allos to walk in our shoes for a moment. The world is telling you that to be human you need to have a relationship and sex, you need to experience romantic love. Now imagine if you find out that you don’t experience both romantic and sexual attraction. You realise that the world won’t see you as a human being, that you’re this broken being, and so that the world feels sorry for you being this way. Now imagine finding this character, such an iconic character that is exactly like you, that is touch adverse, aromantic, and asexual. Imagine how freeing it is to understand that this character is just like you and that’s okay. That you aren’t broken. Now imagine you get an adaption of the source material of that character, you’re so excited to finally see a character like you on TV and they decide to do a full 180 of his character. Suddenly that character is no longer the character you once knew, the character that helped you understand and love yourself for being aroace. NOW understand how damaging that is to the aro and ace communities who have just begun to love and accept themselves, or to aros and aces who are just discovering who they are. Understand how we’re seeing this character, who is just like us, being ripped from us, changed, thrown into this amanormative world that favours, applauds you, for sex and romantic love. Imagine seeing the ONLY character like you be conformed to society’s “rules” because it’s what will make the character “human”. I want you to understand how damaging this change is to us. How even shipping this character with people is damaging to us.

By shipping Jughead with another character you, not only Riverdale, is telling us to conform to this. Telling us that we need sex and romance to live. When in reality we don’t. I love being aroace. I’ve accepted myself as aroace. But this is breaking it all down, this is making me start to question myself, the world. And that’s not okay. You’re telling aroaces that it’s okay to feel broken, that we need to accept this change and move on. When we don’t, we should be trying to stop this, we should stand up for our representation. We shouldn’t back down.

Jughead was our only representation, and taking it away from us was the worst thing to do. We won’t stop fighting for our representation. No matter what. #AroAceJugheadOrBust is here to stay.

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Third Update (Yes Seriously)

I can’t believe I’m here again, this is the fourth post now about this subject and STILL nothing has been done about it. This blog post is gonna focus mainly on two things 1) a certain tweet from Archie Comics on twitter and 2) the new Jughead writer.

Yes we are still being ignored, yes we are still trying our damn hardest and nothing is coming out of it, but you know what isn’t being ignored? Jughead’s love for burgers. Yes hallelujah thank god his love for burger eating isn’t being erased (note: sarcasm). If you are wondering what the heck I’m going on about I’m talking about this tweet from Archie Comics on Twitter:

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This really fueled the fire within me, because not only where we being ignored it seems that the source cares more about the erasure of something Jughead loves over something that makes him who he is, his aroaceness. Don’t get me wrong I know that Jughead’s love for burgers is a part of his character (Lauren you just contradicted yourself here) but to be honest that’s not what we care about, you could change his lover for burgers to the love for cabbage and no one would probably care. What we care about is the erasure of his aroaceness, the erasure of real people, the erasure of something that meant so much to people, so many people saw themselves in Jughead just because of this. Riverdale took representation from us, no one finds representation in burgers. I am not a burger who wants to be represented on TV, I’m an aroace who deserves their representation that was given to us in the comics play out on the TV screen.

I’ve said this so many times but by taking away our representation you are telling us that romance is the most important thing in life, and that you need to find a partner. I know this is going slightly off topic but the interview that Cole had where he says Jughead will have “relationships with women” is very out of character for Jughead. He literally says he doesn’t like to date, how can you misread that? We are not “boring” or “no fun” to write about. A character should reflect real life and not everyone’s endgame is marriage, kids, or romantic love. We are human too. We are not broken toys that need to be fixed. That is the message erasing Jughead’s aroaceness is reflecting on the aro and ace communities. That being said aroaces can have romantic relationships I’m not saying that Jughead himself can’t, what we want is just the confirmation that he is aroace in the show. That’s it. We want Jughead himself to say four words. “I’m aromantic and asexual”. It’s not hard.

The second thing I want to talk about is the new Jughead comics writer. He is an aphobe. So not only are we losing our representation in the show there’s a high chance we could lose it in the comics too. This is what the writer Mark Waid said about Tr.mp on twitter.

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This is so insulting to the ace community, in so many ways. I can’t even begin to tell you how this made me feel. This was written sixteen days ago. This is the person who is now in charge of a comic where the main character is asexual. Not only has he offended a whole community he’s got the whole basis of asexuality wrong. Even if, and that’s a BIG if, Tr.mp was asexual why would he “try 2 convince us of sexual prowess” when most asexuals are sex repulsed or sex indifferent? Personally it makes me feel disgusted, just by this tweet he’s branded a whole community on the actions of a man who probably isn’t even asexual. And this man is going to be writing the comics for one of the most iconic aroace characters? Please Archie Comics reconsider.

I really don’t want to go through this all again, I don’t want to experience the loss of my representation through THE SAME CHARACTER just on two different fronts. I don’t want to have to start using #AroAceJugheadOrBust for the comics as well. I want my representation to stay. Riverdale broke me enough, I don’t want to experience it a second time. Aroace Jughead means so much to a lot of people because he’s all we’ve got.

There’s three (possibly four but this one is a bit iffy with the confirmation coming from twitter and not the source material, according to the fandom) characters that I’ve always seen or known as aroace (as in clearly shown as not interested in romance or sex, or used pretty much the definitions of asexuality and/or aromanticism without using the words “asexual” or “aromantic”) and I’ve nearly lost them all. None of them, none of them are aroace in their shows, even if the character is said to be aroace in their source material. Aroace erasure isn’t a new thing, the clearest one that I know about started back in 2012, with a writer who writes two shows I watched, but that’s not what this post is about, that’s an entire different post. I just want people, not just Archie comics and the Riverdale writers, to listen to us, to fight with us. To stand with us. And stop this erasure from happening, but from what I’ve seen from the past and the present it feels like we are fighting alone.

Even if we have to fight alone I will fight until the end. Jughead Jones is aroace end of story. Nothing can change that. And we will make sure that you know it too.


Update: Mark’s tweet has been deleted, but that doesn’t change the fact of what he’s said and his actions to what he’s done afterwards. He says that he’s a listener but continues to block aces who voiced their concern about this tweet. So. Yeah.

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Second Update.

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.

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: An Update.

11 days ago I wrote a post called “Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Message To The Riverdale Writers”  and I’ve decided to write an update on it, mainly for my own purpose to help get out all of the emotions and feelings that I’ve felt because of it. Because to be honest it’s been a tough week.

Let’s just say that this matter has got worse, so to speak.

The first thing, the first episode aired and we held a Twitter party run by the wonderful Tumblr account FuckYeahAsexual called #AroAceJugheadOrBust during the time Riverdale aired, which started at 2:00am for me here in the UK (I stayed up until 5:00am to participate!!). I am so glad that I participated in this I feel like I’ve gotten closer to the aroace communities because of it, and seeing so many participate in it really made my heart warm.

Now to the negative. We are being ignored. Not only by the writers, but also by the fandom. The episode aired, and people have decided to ignore us. I know we as a community cannot stop anyone from watching a show they want to watch, especially if it’s due to erasure of a lesser known identity. The sad truth, which I’ve said many times before, is that if a sexuality that is more known was being erasure then a lot more people would boycott it. But after the episode aired a lot of people have started calling Jughead a “closeted gay” because that’s the vibe that they got from the episode. I have not watched it, and I do not plan to but this stuff cannot stand.  Jughead Jones is aromantic and asexual. Nothing will change that. Not the writers of the show, nothing. And by doing this you are feeding to the erasure. And to be honest it hurts. A lot. They are choosing to ignore the aroace communities who send them panels of the comic, which show Jughead’s aroacesness. For example there’s a part in the comic where he says “I don’t date” and how he doesn’t like dating. Yeah that really screams “straight” or “gay” to me.

The Riverdale writers are allowing this erasure to occur in the fandom, they are feeding the aphobes who, by the way, attack and bully the aroace communities already with their discourse. They are being told that it is okay to erase the lesser known queer identities, aroace identities, because Riverdale has chosen to not go down this important route. Not only are they gatekeeping us from the communities they are now able to say “ha, you don’t have this character anymore this shows that you are not welcome”, which shouldn’t stand. You are allowing bullies to attack your viewers that you are supposed to protect.

Not only that, a recent interview was released where the actor who plays Jughead was saying how this one thing about Jughead’s character has become the sole thing that is being talked about. Well I’m sorry that we are so deprived of representation that we’ve latched so hard onto this one character, that is comic canon aroace. Sorry that we felt the need to educate and tell people that this character is one of us. Sorry that we finally just wanted to be represented. Sorry that this clouded everything that you’re doing for the character. Sorry we care so much about our unknown identities. Sorry. (Sarcasm obviously). I gave him so much props and respect for how much he “fought” for asexual Jughead, but it seems that even he doesn’t really care, when it comes to that, apparently, being the only thing that is talked about of his character.

I’m going to be so honest I have cried at least three times over this erasure. Because this was finally my chance, and I’m saying this as someone who has never read the comics (I plan to) and only seen parts of it in screenshot form. You know what this erasure has told me? It has told me that my sexuality, the way I identify is not worth it, that no one cares. That we are invisible, broken, and need to be fixed. That is what you’re telling your asexual and aromantic viewers when changing Jughead’s identity. I literally do not want to see the word “Riverdale” because of this erasure, it makes me so angry and upset that even though we protest, raise our voice, and educate no one listens.

You know what I said to myself yesterday? I said to myself that I will have to learn to be okay with this erasure, because that’s seems to be the only thing that will come out of this. And that shouldn’t stand. I shouldn’t have to accept it, our voices should be heard and something should be changed. But can I see change coming? No. I fear each day as it comes when it comes to this topic, because each day something worse happens.

AroAce Jughead being on screen in a day like this is so important because of how the world views sex and relationships. I know if I had a character like me on screen when I was 14/15 I wouldn’t have done so many things that I regret today. I would have realised that it’s okay, I’m okay. I am valid. But I feel like Riverdale doesn’t care about this, they don’t care about the possible education they could tell through this character arc. It’s so easy and simple to just add it into a scene. Literally you could make it into a joke. Or, you know, take it right out of the comic. Have Kevin say the line he does about Jughead’s asexuuality, have Jughead say how he doesn’t like dating. It is so simple, I just don’t understand. Why wouldn’t Riverdale want to educated and help people discover who they are? I would’ve thought they wanted to jump on this, but I guess not.

The sad truth is Riverdale isn’t the first, and it probably won’t be the last. I just wanted Riverdale to take this step forward. But I guess we’ll have to wait.

I want to end in a positive. To all the aro, aces and aroaces who are sticking together and standing up for what is right, who are participating in #AroAceJugheadOrBust on Twitter I’m proud of us, I’m glad there’s some light in this darkness. And to allos (allosexual = non asexuals) who are standing with us, who are helping us, who understand this erasure is not right and shouldn’t stand: I see you, I respect you, and you don’t know how much it means to us. Seeing your support means so much.

Also sorry if this doesn’t make sense, or if I repeated myself a lot, I just really needed to get my thoughts and feelings out there before I burst. I hope Riverdale changes their erasure. But I won’t get my hopes up.

Why AroAce Jughead Is Important: A Message To The Riverdale Writers

There’s a new upcoming show coming on The CW called RiverdaleRiverdale is, and I say loosely, based off of Archie Comics. In these comics character “Jughead Jones” is canonically asexual, and as of a few days ago I found out is also aromantic and touch adverse.

I will be honest I have never read the Archie comics, but I do plan to. But the one thing I do know is that Jughead Jones is unapologetically aroace, and is touch adverse. As I came to terms with being aroace myself the first ever canon aroace character I knew of was Jughead Jones. And of course when I heard that there was going to be a TV adaption of the comics called Riverdale I flocked to the idea that finally there was going to be a character on TV just like me. And well…

This is what this blog post is about. From what I’ve gathered from trailers and actor Cole Sprouse’s interviews, the actor playing Jughead Jones, is that Jughead Jones will not be aroace in Season 1. Especially with the amount that they have changed. From the trailers it portrays a more “sexy” and “horror” like tone, which I believe is quite different from the comics themselves. But if something, as big as aroace!Jughead, is canon it should stay canon.

Aroace Jughead means a lot to a lot of people. Why? Because at the moment I know of zero characters that are aromantic, or asexual, or touch adversed. Let alone all three at once on mainstream American TV. I want to put something in perspective for a moment. Imagine growing up in a world that focuses on the “importance” of finding love, finding your soulmate, and sex. And then to find out that you are different from these people. That you don’t experience any of this. How would you feel? Because of me I grew up knowing of 3 sexualitys: straight, gay, and bisexual. And these three were represented on TV, bisexuality not so much but I had heard of it.  I grew up thinking that there was something wrong with me, that I was broken. Now imagine how I felt when I discovered that I wasn’t? Basically what I am trying to say is by having Jughead Jones canonically aromantic and asexual on mainstream TV will prevent more people from feeling the way I did. And to show that romance and sex are not the be all and end all. It will do something that no other show, that I watch, has ever done before. It would educate people, and it would finally give the aromantic and asexual communities their chance at representation on the small screen.

How hard is it to keep a canon aroace character canon in your adaption? Especially if you are showing canonically comic straight girls kissing in one of the trailers. If Riverdale is going to change their sexuality, which I’m not 100% sure on, it could be queerbaiting, how can you not keep the canon aroace character in your show. It isn’t hard. I’ve been thinking for a couple of days know to the reasoning behind it and the only things I can come up with is that they think having an aroace character will prevent them from getting high ratings because of the “sexiness” of their adaption, in which is aphobic. In all honesty I think having canon aroace Jughead would increase the ratings because I know of many aro/ace people who are dying to finally see a character like them on screen, so many of us would flock to watch the show. I thought finally, finally a character like me would be on TV. But I guess I got my hopes up too much.

It’s happened so many times where I’ve watched a show and characters that have described themselves as either aromantic and/or asexual without using the words “asexual” and/or “aromantic” have then been forced into a sexual or romantic relationship to “fix” the characters that haven’t felt this feeling that they “should” because it’s “normal”. And if Riverdale is doing this too, to an actual canon aroace character, you are showing us, the aromantic and asexual communities that we are broken and that we need fixing. And that’s the most unhealthiest thing to do, especially when some of us are just coming to accept ourselves for who we are.

I want to thank Cole Sprouse for the amount of fighting he is doing for the aroace communities, and him seeing the importance of this part of Jughead’s character. Many actors would probably have ignored it and probably pretended that this part didn’t exist. So thank you Cole Sprouse for fighting for us.

This has disappointed me so much that I really don’t feel like watching it anymore, I was going to watch it for aroace Jughead, but now that we probably don’t have it what is the point?

If anyone has any ideas on how we can inform the Riverdale writers and the CW on why it’s important to keep Jughead aroace please feel free to message me. Because I don’t want this to be something that is ignored. Aro erasure and ace erasure shouldn’t be ignored.