Monday, September 28, 2015

Asexual Characters FTW

I often see writers claim asexuals are “too boring” to write about, when they’re not outright denying their existence. As an asexual, this never fails to annoy me. Even though I’m always featuring characters of this orientation in my webcomics—yes, someone’s asexual in Echo Effect—I can’t help but hope other writers will start doing the same for their own stories.

Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic to see Chip Zdarsky (writer of the Jughead reboot) discuss asexuality in this interview

Asexuality is something that is more of an identifiable, publicly-discussed thing now than it was when Jughead was first introduced. Being girl-averse was often played for laughs in the early days, but would you say your take on him is somewhat asexual, or just that he's nonconformist and Riverdale being so romance-centric requires a different take?

Yeah, for the stories it's good to have someone not as mired in the hormonal teen romances, and it adds to that "outside-looking-in" quality I talked about before. I'm writing him as asexual, but this is comics, yeah? The next writer could make him discover girls or boys or both and that's totally fine. There have been iterations of Jughead over the decades where he HAS been interested in girls, so there's room to play around if someone was inclined. For me though, I like an asexual Jughead. That's more interesting to me than writing him as just being behind everyone developmentally. 


I’ve always viewed Jughead as asexual, so yeah, it’s a pleasant surprise to see his current writer does, too, and that he thinks it makes him more interesting on top of that. Asexuality still needs a lot more representation than this, and in a medium that can’t be retconned, but this is at least giving me more hope that it can happen…

12 comments:

  1. It's certainly something we don't see often anywhere. I see it more in books than anywhere else though.

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    1. I remember seeing a list floating around once of books that feature asexual characters. I need to track some of those down sometime, especially since I can't recall coming across asexuality in other novels before!

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  2. Good for you!! Do what you feel moves the character and story. I love when someone doesn't write a character a way just because it's the norm.

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    1. Thanks, Tammy! I was actually pretty scared to post this today, since people tend to be judgmental about this kind of thing. (I'm even more scared to see how people will react once they find out which of my characters are asexual, LOL.)

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  3. I agree, it opens up to more possibilities for the imagination. :-)

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    1. Thanks! I really hope other readers of mine view it like that, too. (If not, they'll just have to deal with it, since I'll never stop including asexual characters, LOL.)

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  4. I was really excited to see this news today and not just because I know how happy it'd made you (though that was a big reason, too ;) ). I just feel like our whole culture is so over-sexualized anymore. Why does that always have to be a focus? Why can't we just like characters for who they are, and not their sexual preferences? Why is there so much pressure to define said sexual preference or fit into some specific "norm"? To me, these things hardly qualify a person boring or not. They don't even register on my list of reasons to like a person or not. Still, I think with the direction sexuality is moving as far as diversity is concerned, it won't be long before other authors open up about some of their characters also being ace. I know I've suspected it about plenty of characters and liked them all the more for it.

    P.S. I'm really proud of you for finally dropping the ace bomb about Echo Effect. So far it looks like no one's flipping out about it so hopefully they'll be equally as cool with it when they find out who. ;)

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    1. Well, a lot of people who comment on my blog don't keep up with Echo Effect, so they're not invested with those characters, haha. I still expect a bad reaction once it becomes more obvious in the webcomic, to be honest. It'll break my heart if people start saying this character is being naive and will "come around" eventually...

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  5. Apparently, I need to understand asexuality more, because I was like, "Wait who?!" reading the Echo Effect mention. lol

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    1. LOL. It's not exactly obvious yet, but it will be in a few strips! (It'll take longer for the term "asexual" to be used in the webcomic, though.) I like to hope it'll seem obvious in retrospect, too...

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  6. I had no idea this was a reality, so I'm grateful for the external link you included. I have a LOT to learn.

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    1. A lot of people seem to be unaware of asexuality, so I like to educate and offer links when I can!

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