Have ya heard the fabulous news? Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo is officially canonically gay so we can add her to the list of A+ gay fictional characters.
I repeat: Velma Dinkley from Scooby-Doo is officially canonically gay!
Which got me wondering, which iconic closeted character is gonna come out next?
Popular culture is teeming with secretly gay characters who were written with queer-coded traits but seemingly barred from being their true selves.
Why? My guess is that the archaic studio heads forced the directors and writers to tone down the gayness for no other reason than blatant homophobia.
Either the studio heads themselves were homophobic or they were concerned that viewers would reject their content if they knew it contained queer characters ‘cos let’s face it, our society is backwards as fuck. Was back then and still is now.
And that’s not even a guess, it’s legit the reason why Velma was straighty-180 in the iconic 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo movie.
A few years back director James Gunn revealed he tried to make Velma canonically gay but the studio “kept watering it down and watering it down” until it became “ambiguous (the version shot), then nothing (the released version) and finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”
Now that she’s finally been allowed to exit the closet in the new animated flick, I thought I’d go back and suss out all the other queer-coded characters who should be next.
Ryan Evans (High School Musical)
The first queer cab off the rank is Ryan from High School Musical, AKA Sharpay’s supportive brother.
This beloved movie came out during a time when most Millennials and Gen Zers were discovering they were gay and it would have been NICE to have some queer representation on the biggest Disney flick of the moment.
The movie dropped several hints that Ryan was gay, including his excitement at potentially meeting Ashton Kutcher when he thought they were being Punk’d.
Plus, did anyone else notice that during the “I Don’t Dance” number in High School Musical 2, Ryan and Chad swapped clothes?
There’s a long-running fan theory that suggests the blokes had a lil ~rendezvous~ and accidentally put each other’s clothes on. Happens to the best of us!
Now that Ryan is returning to the franchise as an older and wiser theatre geek in Disney+’s High School Musical TV series, I seriously hope they’ve allowed Ryan to live his best gay life rather than hiding in the shadow of his sister and being nothing but a side character with a mulled identity.
Team Rocket (Pokémon)
There were many subtle references to Jessie and James AKA Team Rocket being gay in the Pokémon franchise and you’ve gotta catch ’em all.
Their entire personalities were definitely queer-coded but one in particular involving James is his origin story.
His parents were forcing him to marry a woman and he hated that idea so he bolted and formed Team Rocket with Jessie.
Fans have long speculated that both characters are queer but kept in the closet so as not to frighten away the homophobic masses. SIGH.
Shego (Kim Possible)
This fiery badass has been a queer icon for years and the evidence is right there.
Although Kim Possible is her arch-nemesis, when you watch the show as an adult, you’ll realise that their conversations sound like flirtatious banter. She calls Kim “Kimmie,” for Christ’s sake.
God I hope the writers intended for her to be gay ‘cos if so, it’ll make being queer even more of a flex.
Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)
Throughout Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is openly disinterested in sex, even going as far as to describe it as “ridiculous” and “off-putting”.
I feel like the implication here is that Sheldon is asexual but he never openly identifies as such.
This is super disappointing because there’s definitely a lack of asexual visibility in popular culture and since it’s such a ‘yuge show, Big Bang Theory really had an opportunity to do something great here.
But nope. They went down the cliché route and made him seem awkward about sex but still interested rather than decidedly disinterested.
Jughead Jones (Riverdale)
Another huge opportunity for asexual visibility, missed!
This one isn’t even subtle as Jughead is canonically asexual in recent comics, but in the series he gets with Betty Cooper.
Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead in the teen drama, has been vocal about wanting the character to be asexual.
When the show first kicked off, Sprouse told Teen Vogue that he “did a lot of research” on asexuality to accurately portray the character.
He said that despite the first season containing zero hints at Jughead’s asexuality, he hoped that it’ll be explored in future seasons.
“The entirety of season 1 sets the pace for a character’s narrative arc,” he said at the time.
“Because of the fluidity of sexuality and how oftentimes a person discovers who they are after a series of events – like those told in our origin stories – this is an ongoing conversation.”
Welp, here we are five years later and the show has featured everything from cults to comets. Yet the idea of the character being asexual like he is in the comics was too much of a stretch, apparently.
Kronk (The Emperor’s New Groove)
I don’t know if this is just wishful thinking on my part, but I totally reckon Kronk is gay.
The way he fawned over Yzma mirrored how us gays obsess over our gay icons.
The gym-loving buff bloke defs had queer undertones and if they ever do a live-action version of The Emperor’s New Groove, I really hope he reveals himself to be gay.
Representation is so damn important, especially for queer teens who are coming to terms with their sexuality.
I really wish there had been more proper, thoughtful representation in popular culture when I was growing up.
Velma being confirmed as queer is a step in the right direction but we need more pls.
More Stuff From PEDESTRIAN.TV
Just Gonna Say It: We Deserve A Scooby-Doo 3 Where Velma’s Gay And Shaggy’s A Proud Stoner
Scooby-Doo Just Confirmed What We All Knew: Velma Dinkley Is A Bonafide, Iconic Lesbian
The OG Scooby-Doo Crew Floated The Idea Of An R-Rated Version & My 13-Year-Old Self Is Shaking
Mindy Kaling Had The Perfect Clapback For A Troll Who Used A GIF From The Office Against Her