Things done changed: Archie’s Riverdale High gets its first gay student

If you, like me, collected the hell out of Archie comics when you were a little girl, you may have been pleased to see that Riverdale High has finally diversified its student population.

This week, Archie Comics cartoonist Dan Parent disclosed that a new storyline involving Veronica will introduce the series’ first openly gay character. Parent says the character, Kevin Keller, will make his debut in Veronica #202:

“The plotline is that Veronica’s got the hots for this guy and can’t understand why he’s not interested in her,” Parent said, “and … he’s gay.”

The cartoonist said that while readers shouldn’t expect any of the regular characters to come out of the closet, we shouldn’t look for residents of Riverdale to make a big deal about Kevin’s sexuality, either. “The reaction is going to be, there isn’t going to be a reaction — it’s just going to be acceptance,” he said.

In a press release, Archie Comics confirmed that the character would be revealed in a storyline titled “Isn’t it Bromantic?” CEO of Archie Comics Jon Goldwater commented on the decision to add the character of Kevin Keller:

“The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.”