Velma Isn’t Gay, And Never Has Been

Lesbians culturally appropriating straights, what else is new?

Ahh, yes, who has not heard of this bowl-cut, glasses wearing, thick-thighed, hour-glass shaped, auburn haired seductress? A pop culture icon since the late 60’s, Velma has been one of the classic tropes; the geek-girl that nerds and the introverted have lusted after for decades, so obsessed over because she was viewed as more realistically attainable than Daphne…That is until she was claimed by the alphabet soup group on the grounds that “she looks the part, so she is!” (Which is quite ironic, coming from a culture where misgendering is a grave sin)

Since the early days when the show first aired there were feminists claiming that she was “theirs”. Her homely looks, rational demeanor, and analytical methods seemed to emphasize a college-educated intelligence over being attractive and flirty. This was of course during the sexual revolution, which was ironically an era when girls going to get a higher education more than ever before was deemed “ground-breaking”, despite being even more promiscuous and even less cognizant of who they gave up their bodies to. But as all things in life, they could not just stop at the obvious assumption of her being of the frumpy, bookish variety. They had to push further than that, because ultimate subversion is the name of the game in youth politics.

In the 90’s, we saw the introduction of jokes about her character being bisexual, and even lesbian. Apparently wearing a turtle neck and having short hair is all a girl needs in order to be labelled permanently. It was all in good fun though, meant to poke fun at her antiquated 60’s design. Of course, the people claiming she was a lesbian will also leave out the fact that for just as long, perhaps even longer, people joked that she was really in love with Scooby Doo. In fact, with her being the one to hand out the “Scooby Snacks”, one might be able to mount an even more effective argument that she was likely into bestiality more-so than her potential for being a lesbian, after all, if accessories dictate sexuality, does her dog-food accessory not indicate an interest in animals? I hope you can see just how stupid these kinds of arguments actually are.

As the years moved on, all it took for someone to claim a character is a lesbian anymore, past or present, is her reluctance to share her sexual interests, or a general indifference to men, you know, as opposed to fawning over every single guy she meets like straight girls are “supposed” to act. Gone are the assumptions about a girl with a buzz or who wears sweater-vests, now if you didn’t show an absolute undying interest in men, you were lesbian. Except, Velma had always shown an interest in men. She was always “fawning” over men. But, as these things tend to go, the supposed “fans” like to pretend she never did.

Now, this post is not meant to argue that she is only meant to be straight. Her sexuality, while minor, was not a facet of her character, and especially not there from the first episode. In fact, I welcome the idea of a lesbian interpretation of the character. What I am pushing against, and will always push back against, is the idea that her character is, and always had been, innately gay, which she is not and never was. Only the people who call themselves fans, but never actually were, will call her “gay”, or say she was “gay coded”. From the comic books where Shaggy impregnates her in ‘Scooby Doo Apocalypse’, to the crossover episodes with ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Johnny Bravo’ where she crushes on both male characters, she has been the geeky girl least-listened to by both these supposed “fans”, and the public at large.

She has had a wider variety of male love interests than Daphne, who’s loyalty to Fred is nearly unwavering. With the amount of dick she has had, you could practically call her the party-girl, and call Daphne the traditional house-wife. Despite this, she gets lumped in with the same people who are just as willing to ignore her history and attack her for not being gay as they are to attack you for suggesting she is straight. They are willing to ignore the mountain of male love interests from the movies, to the shows, to the comics, all for a reason seemingly outside of her actual characterization. Something tells me that they don’t really care about her character. They seem to be more at home co-opting fictional characters in order to justify their own sexuality than they are creating their own media with their own characters to try and re-write history so it appeals to them. Give it 10 more years and we’ll see everyone on ‘Scooby Doo’ being gay. Shaggy will secretly be in love with Fred, while Daphne gets seduced by Velma, and Scrappy gets re-introduced as Scooby’s gay, male, dog-love interest. It’s absurd, ridiculous, laughable, and yet, all too possibly real.

Velma deserves better, fairer treatment. She deserves to be listened to. But, as always, society prefers to drown-out the woman and shove things down her throat. If the “fans” truly do say she was a lesbian all along, then Velma never really had “fans”. She had abusers, telling her she had to be something she was telling everyone she was not.

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