Archie Gets Better
Last Friday, Archie Comics released a series of comic strips around LGBTQ acceptance for National Coming Out Day.
Archie actually introduced it's first gay character in 2010!
Why is it so important that Archie has LGBTQ characters and how does that affect Kalamos?
Sexual health disparities are largely about access. Because these access gaps disproportionately affect gender and sexual minorities, sexual health is deeply interwoven with queer culture. When media features diverse characters, it allows us to see ourselves in their shoes, to achieve what they achieve.
When queer representation crosses over into mainstream culture, it also allows the majority to understand and accept the unfamiliar. Coming out may not seem directly correlated to sexual health, but it's the exact kind of conversation we must have to achieve equity in care.
By showcasing a spectrum of characters, from straight cisgender to gay, trans, etc., the Archie comics are normalizing conversations previously treated as taboo. These may feel like baby steps, but also it's important to normalize tolerance by the heterosexual community. The easier it is to casually talk about our identities, the easier it is to get competent care.
Sam Smith, singer/songwriter extraordinaire, wrote a deeply personal essay about his journey to self-acceptance in this month's Attitude.
"My suits started to feel like straitjackets and my head started to feel more and more like a prison.”
His fears of rejection will resonate with any person who's been in the closet. What's most important is that he's demonstrating that there's life outside the closet, though I'm not sure we'll all be so lucky to be as glamorous as Sam.
Sam Smith's recommendation to us all - "Live as loud and as querly as humanly possible".