To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the newspaper comic strip Funky Winkerbean will feature a gay plot line.
'As I sit in on the classes at my old high school, I see how the younger generation's attitude towards gays is more open and accepting than that of their predecessors,' strip creator Tom Batiuk said to the Huffington Post. 'It shows promise that this emerging generation will one day bring this cultural war to an end. Until then, this story is an attempt to reach across the divide and speak to the intolerance that still exists on the other side.'
Starting tomorrow, 30 April, the fictional Westview High School will debate if a same-sex couple should be allowed to attend a prom dance. There will characters for, and against, the pair participating in the high-school tradition.
The story arc is getting early praise from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and King Features Syndicate.
'We hope the series brings new light to this important issue and helps parents initiate the conversation about tolerance with their children,' said Brendan Burford, King Features comics editor.