New “Scooby Doo” film stars sapphic Velma

A stepping stone in LGBTQ+ representation was made earlier this month as the latest “Scooby-Doo” film reveals Velma to be sapphic. She expresses her romantic interest in a woman named Coco Diablo and fans are elated.

Velma officially being lesbian is important to those in the “Scooby-Doo” fanbase. For years, it has been speculated that she is not heterosexual, despite her depictions in the films where she is portrayed with a boyfriend.

Fans immediately took to social media, like Twitter, to express their joy. One fan tweeted, “OMG LESBIAN VELMA FINALLY CANON.”

Others have celebrated by creating their own fan art displaying Velma and her love interest. Twitter user JennyWebbyArt said, “To celebrate ‘Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!’ Confirming what fans and creatives have speculated for decades; Velma is gay!!!!” with an attached modern portrayal of Velma and Coco Diablo. 

Despite the praise for Velma’s coming out, previous creators within the franchise have made attempts to depict her as sapphic. James Gunn, the screenplay writer for the live-action movie “Scooby-Doo” which premiered in 2002, initially wrote her in as a lesbian. According to CNN, “The studio just kept watering it down, and watering it down…” 

So why did it take the entertainment industry 20 years to accurately represent Velma? LGBTQ+ rights have been a slippery slope for decades. Marriage between people of the same sex was only legalized in 2015 in the U.S., and of the 197 countries in the world, only 33 have legalized it. 

Modern times have created progressive thinking, but there is still resistance to fully accepting the LGBTQ+ community. Organizations are having books banned that mention the journey and experience of being a member of the community. Parents fear teaching children about the LGBTQ+ will lead them to identify as part of the community. Underlying homophobia and ignorance has fueled the silencing of people who identify anywhere within the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

I remember being a little girl and questioning my sexuality. It was all a very confusing process. There was no one I was comfortable enough to turn to, and hearing about anyone being gay or lesbian was rare. If there had been an inkling of representation, I would have felt less isolated. I would have felt validated in my confusion.

Children need to absorb the representation in the media. Being queer, trans or asexual is not a choice. What they consume will not “convert” anyone to any side. It will only make those who are confused and exploring feel more comfortable in their mind and bodies.

It is unfortunate the show will only be available on one streaming platform, but the world of television is shifting. People will find ways to watch the show even if they do not have access to HBO max. “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!” is a film for more than just kids. With its recent revelations, long-time fans and supporters will be watching.

I am hopeful for a future where characters are not portrayed for years as someone they are not. A steady progression has been made within the last few decades. If incoming generations continue to learn and understand the value in diversity, the progress will continue. 

What we teach our children now will live within them as adults. Exposing them to characters like Velma teaches them it is normal. It is our responsibility to create a new inclusive normal.

Photo courtesy of Pat Loika, Wikipedia.