This may sound a little weird, but here goes: I say Spock's story in STXI is an analogy for a closeted homosexual coming out. He has emotions, which his people see as extremely distasteful. He can't supress them as well as they do, but he TRIES to live up to his rigid society's expectations of emotionlessness. He acts like he doesn't have them in public.
Uhura, she's his secret release for his emotions. Their relationship is an improper and secret student-teacher one, surrogate for a secret gay one.
After his mother died and his world destroyed, Spock cracks, and "comes out" to his father (Amanda always knew, and didn't care, "whatever you do, you will always have a proud mother"), saying this is it, he can't bottle this shit up anymore, he has emotions and that's that. And Sarek says not to try, and that he's proud of him.
Spock and Uhura smooch on the transporter pad in front of everyone, Spock uses Uhura's "secret" first name. He's out now, being what he really is and wants to be, and not what his society expects.
...that's what me, a straight guy, saw. Am I the only one?