... both of the regular characters were men, and the androgynous objects of their interest were played by women. I can understand it in terms of comfort levels for the actors ...
In the case of Outcast, Jonathan Frakes did advocate having the "love interest" be played by a male actor, but to no effect.
There are some who take a stand though. In "Offspring", Guinan was supposed to tell Lal something along the lines of 'when a man and woman love each other...', but Whoopi refused to and substituted the line 'when two people love each other' instead.
Even there, it was after Lal observe a man and a woman courting in Ten Forward.
GoRe Star wrote:
... the country as a whole was a lot less tolerant twenty years ago than it is now.
The only series I'm willing to give a pass to would be TOS, by the late eighties there were regularly gay characters on various TV series. Despite it's occasional reputation, Star Trek was unwilling to push the envelope. By the time of ENT there was no longer any excuse, some of the people I went to High School with commented on the lack of a gay character, in some cases it was a part of the reason they switch to viewing different a show in the same time slot.
Some people point to Reed as the "should have been," looking back now I think that Travis would have been a better choice. Despite some of his comments in the pilot, having him in a relationship with another Enterprise crewman would have worked nicely.
At least it would have given him something to do.