As a queer kid, coveting Fred’s hair and Daphne being his girlfriend, I had no-one to point to and say, “That’s me”
BY FAY BARRETT, IMAGE BY WARNER BROS
Way back in the mists of time (1988 to be precise), I’d sit behind my gran’s armchair, chomping on some chocolate buttons and reading my Scooby-Doo comic. I don’t know why I sat behind my gran’s chair. Maybe it was comforting if things got a little too spooky? Whatever the reason, I loved me some Scooby-Doo. It was funny, just the right amount of scary and I had the same colour hair as Fred. Which is a suitably queer thing to say.
The thing that was missing, not just from Scooby-Doo but from all 80s comics, TV shows, and movies, was LGBTQIA rep. As a queer kid, coveting Fred’s hair and Daphne being his girlfriend, I had no-one to point to and say, “That’s me”.
Last night, I was filled with queer joy and a good dollop of nostalgia when I sat down to watch Trick Or Treat Scooby-Doo! The news that VELMA IS GAY (shout it from the rooftops, people – let’s get “lesbian” trending again) had me queuing up for this latest instalment.
I was not disappointed. The same old kitschness was there, the camp comedy, the spooky chill up the spine, but also VELMA IS A LESBIAN! Just checking you caught that…
And I wondered, what effect would this have had on eight-year-old me? Would it have altered the trajectory of my life, answered some questions or given me a role model to look to? Possibly not, on the last bit, given I was more into Fred’s styling than Velma’s orange turtleneck. But you know what I’m getting at.
At first, I thought they’d pay lip service (excuse the pun) to the sapphic storyline. Leave it with Velma’s glasses steaming up when she meets supervillain Coco Diablo. Kind of a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment, with no explanation. This was not the case. There are multiple “Velma making awkward small talk with her crush” moments. There’s a gorgeous scene where she opens up to Daphne about her feelings. Later, Daphne plays wing woman during Velma’s woeful attempts at flirting.
The knowledge that LGBTQIA children today not only have this level of representation, but also explanation, sent a tingle of happiness through me. It means they not only see themselves, but have the keys for understanding.
I just have one bugbear…
Where was Scrappy-Doo? Can we have some “puppy power” in the next one please?
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind
LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.