Jughead, Nonbinary and Male-passing, and Dating while Bi

Chip Zdarksy on writing Jughead as asexual.

jughead

My view of Jughead is, over the 75 years [of his existence] there have been sporadic moments where he has dabbled in the ladies, but historically he has been portrayed as asexual. They just didn’t have a label for it, so they just called him a woman-hater.

But he’s not a misogynist — he just watches his cohorts lose their minds with hormones. People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way.

Hari Ziyad discusses the problems of being nonbinary and perceived as a man.

The violence inflicted by being inside those cages can’t be understated. My inability to properly connect with the gender I was told I was meant to be was an experience filled with anxiety, confusion, self-loathing, and other significant injury.

And yet, it was also an experience that allowed me to escape (and even enact) the same types of violence that my sisters and mothers experienced at the hands of men. My ability to easily put on male drag, which is not a privilege afforded to every other non-binary person (in fact, “male drag” can not only be damaging to force oneself into, for some it is practically an impossibility), allowed me many opportunities.

Teen Vogue on stereotypes and dating as bisexual women

On the other hand, dating men can be equally problematic. Straight men are notorious for reacting to learning of a woman’s bisexuality with the phrase, “Oh, that’s hot.” Some of them then go on to ask, “So can I watch you and another woman have sex?” The answer to that is that a person’s sexuality is not a kink or an all-access pass to your personal fantasy. A guy saying that it’s great you’re bisexual, because he’s “always wanted to sleep with two women” makes him sound as if he thinks he’s in a video game and you’re an achievement to be unlocked, and reacting to such a creepy proposal with a “GTFO” is perfectly reasonable. Then there’s the expectation that bisexuals are kinky by default. Not every bisexual person is looking for a BDSM relationship, the same way that not everyone likes pineapple on their pizza. It seems obvious when one thinks about it, but nearly every other bisexual woman I’ve talked to has at least one story about somebody wanting to add a little kink into their sex lives and assuming dating a bisexual is the best way to do it. This may be shocking to some people, but not all bisexuals want to have a threesome, and for a couple to make that suggestion to another person based only on the fact that they’re bisexual is not the way to a second date.

Advertisements