The Chilling (and Inclusive) Adventures of Sabrina
Who doesn’t love spooky season? It’s that time right after summer where we’re all ready
to put away our ACs and box fans, put on a scarf, and pick some apples. The days start getting
colder and the trees become skeletons of their former selves. We cuddle up on couches with
loved ones and pets, watching Ghostbusters and Paranormal Activity. It’s waking up early on
Saturday mornings to hit the Farmer’s Market and the air is crisp with autumn leaves falling
magically from the sky. It is a time full of wonder and possibility; a celebration of harvests and
community before winter hits. So where does queer identity fit in?
Mainstream media has taken it’s time in creating space for queer people to see
themselves represented in the things we watch. During a time when we should be feeling cozy
and excited for Halloween, we deserve to see ourselves in the things we watch. Look no further
than the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Full of queer characters, the show does a good job of
incorporating characters in a way that strays from tokenism. The characters are part of the fabric
of the show and are important in more ways than their identities. Not only does the show
explicitly allow for queer labels, but there are plenty of ambigious characters who are fluid in
their gender expression and sexuality which creates further representation for those
non-conforming to labels or questioning.
Sabrina enters its audience into a supernatural and Satanic world full of warlocks,
witches, and their familiars. It deals with family issues, romantic and sexual relationships, and
the community of friends we keep. At times, the story of Sabrina Spellman is existentialist in
nature. She is faced with how she fits into the world around her and what the perceptions of her
surroundings mean in terms of who she is. Each of the characters experience this in their own
way, figuring themselves out amongst demons and witchcraft. The queer characters of this show
fit into the fabric of the story. They are recognized, challenged, and affirmed in their identities.
Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose, is a POC character who is open in his pansexuality without it being a
major plot point. These casual characters help to normalize and represent queer identities.
Most notably is the character Theo. When the audience first meets Theo, it is before he is
out as a trans man. Through the first two seasons of the show (currently the only seasons of the
show) Theo’s story follows his obstacles and achievements in finding who he is and becoming
an advocate for that. Theo is more than his identity, though. He is a son dealing with his
relationship to his dad and a best friend, helping his friends defeat the forces of evil that appear
as Sabrina faces who she is. It is one of the best representations of a trans masculine experience
that has been in any mainstream media.
The visibility of LGBTQ+ people in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as well as the
unique story makes for such a special show. It means that queer people get to partake in things
like cozy, spooky season and be normalized in those spaces. Sabrina is paving the way for
representation and serving as an example for how we should see ourselves in what we watch.