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Answering the homophobes against “Life with Archie”

I’m sorry, I try to be tolerant, I really do, but sometimes the ignorant and hateful make it too easy to mock them. I mean, watch any particular episode of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report and you’ll see that they’ve made a cottage industry of making FOX NEWS look foolish. And then take a group like One Million Moms who took notice of a recent issue of “Life With Archie” and decided that they needed to organize a boycott of Toys R’ Us for selling that particular comic book.

What was going in in “Life With Archie” that offended the OMM so much? Were they upset that Archie chose Veronica over Betty? Or that Jughead was revealed to have some sort of eating disorder? No, of course not. The group – which I seriously doubt actually has a membership of “one million moms” – was protesting that Archie cast member Kevin – the first and only openly gay character in the history of Archie Comics – was getting married to his same-sex partner.

To make their “voices heard”, the OMM set up an on-line campaign, complete with a form letter for folks to fill out and send to reps of Toys R’ Us. Here it is:

“As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am extremely disappointed to learn that select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform.

I am aware that Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children.

Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.

A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys ‘R’ Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.

Please remove all the same-sex “Just Married – Archie” comic books immediately from your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores depends on it.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding my concern.”

Of course, this sort of outrage brings to mind the histrionics of Helen Lovejoy, the wife of Reverend Lovejoy on the animated series “The Simpsons.”

The thing about the letter is that you can go in and edit it to suit your own purposes, which is exactly what I did. (Thanks to my BleedingCool.com editor Rich Johnston for the idea!) I’ve highlighted my changes:

From: <redeyegeek@gmail.com>
To: <Natalie.Kunath@toysrus.com>
Cc:
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 12:12:07 -0600
Subject: THANK YOU FOR Same-Sex Archie Comics in Toy R’ Us!

As a mother and a member of OneMillionMoms.com (well, I’m not really a mother but have been called one from time to time), I am extremely elated to learn that select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. I am referring to the ones where the front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying, one wearing a service uniform.

I am aware that Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor. Your company should be aware of the merchandise being sold in your stores nonetheless. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME! These comic books are displayed at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children. MORE PEOPLE SHOULD SEE THEM! YOU SHOULD HIRE AN EMPLOYEE TO SPECIFICALLY DIRECT PEOPLE TO WHERE THEY CAN FIND THE BOOK!

Finally, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. Until now, all they had were toys that reinforced sexist gender roles – like blue is for boys and pink is for girls – and items that glorified the use of violence to solve problems (I mean, just look in any action figure aisle). You would think that this is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand, but sometimes we don’t give our kids enough credit for being smarter than we think they are. Issues of this nature are being introduced too late and too infrequently, which is becoming extremely common and regrettable.

A trip to the toy store turns into a teaching moment on sexual orientation and is something that all good parents should be prepared for. Toys ‘R’ Us should commended in the products they carry.

Please add more same-sex “Just Married – Archie” comic books immediately to your shelves. My decision to shop in your stores may depend on it. Also add more Pokemon because my kid keeps asking for it. Oh, and more Monster High figures. Do you know how hard it is to find that “Ghoulia” doll my daughter keeps asking for? I had to find the last one on eBay and got robbed!

I look forward to hearing from you regarding my concern. Seriously, add more Pokemon.

Sincerely,

Elliott Serrano

On a related note, the book is currently selling out, so thank you to the comic book community for showing that not everyone is narrow-minded and bigoted. Now let’s get back to discussing matters that are truly worth debating, like whether Captain America could beat Batman in hand-to-hand combat.