Twitter Users Are Barely Discovering This Beloved Pokemon’s Coming Out Story
Everyone was so excited about Velma’s recent exit from Scooby-Doo as a lesbian that people forgot about another cartoon character with her own exit story: Pokémon’s Squirtle.
At least, that’s the joke currently circulating on queer Twitter. Twitter user @GoddamnItGavin recently posted an illustration from the 1999 Pokémon-themed children’s book get out squirrel which makes the turtle blowing water look weird.
Jacob Thornburg, a book reviewer, explained why the book seems oddly coded: “It’s the story of Squirtle learning to stop being afraid and to come out of his shell. His best friend is a dinosaur-like creature that literally FLAMES. His tail has fire on it, that’s what I mean. Eventually he learns to go out and the first thing he sees is a rainbow.
Thornburg doesn’t think the book has a “subtle agenda” for kids – in reality, it could just be a book about how friends can encourage shy kids to enjoy the outside world – but queer Twitter got away with it, absolutely insisting that the book is 100% about a fag coming out.
In other words, it’s absolutely a gay metaphor.
—HipsterSneasel (@HipsterSneasel) September 27, 2022
So he’s gay out there so what do you mean?
— Sakke Kołpela (@KorpelaSakke) September 28, 2022
me and my bf fav pokemon?, even my bf has the one and only squirtle tattoo on his body?
— mat (@rahmatjunand) September 28, 2022
Some commenters have started pointing out other Pokemon that seem odd.
At least one book reviewer thinks the book is definitely about queerness.
Of course, others in the past have suspected Pokémon of having a secret queer agenda.
In 2015, Georgian televangelist Creflo Dollar claimed that “satanic” Pokémon cartoons were designed “specifically to pervert teenagers” and trick children into homosexuality.
In particular, Dollar Church conducted a so-called “study” which stated that the monsters’ “phallic” forms, their gender ambiguity, and the “over-sexualized relationship” between cartoon hero Ash and his best friend Brock made kids gay.
Of course, that’s crazy. But again, some Pokemon names like Lickitung, Baltoy, Ferroseed, and Grumpig look like screen names pulled straight from Grindr.