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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old November 23 2012, 08:19 PM   #1
Minuet
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Trills and Transgenderism

I was rewatching the first couple of episodes of DS9 and, after listening to the conversation Sisko has with Dax in Quark's Bar near the beginning of the episode "A Man Alone," it dawned on me how much the Trill's experience mirrors that of transgenderism.

Obviously those who are transgender transition slowly over time, and in the Trill's case, it happens conceivably over a few hours on the operating table (although, this is 24th century medicine, so it probably happens over a few minutes--I haven't seen "The Host" in a long time). Still, the concept of switching genders and having everyone around you deal with the consequences of that is very similar.

In a quote from "A Man Alone," while Sisko and Dax are having dinner together, they have the following exchange:

SISKO: I've missed your steamed azna.

DAX: You must miss Curzon too.

SISKO: He was... you were, are...a mentor, another father to me.

DAX: This happens to trills, Benjamin. Sometimes our friendships with other species don't survive because of the change.

SISKO: It won't be that way with us. It's just a little uncomfortable right now.

DAX: I suggest that you allow yourself to feel comfortable with your discomfort. Time can do the rest.
I found this eerily similar to the experiences of transgender people. Sisko is having a hard time processing that his old male friend is now a female. He basically explains that he is adapting slowly, that it's just uncomfortable for the time being while he adjusts to the changes. Jadzia is still Dax, so to speak, just with a slightly different feminine lilt to her personality. It's still Dax on the inside, with all of the same memories and experiences.

In a similar fashion, transgender people and those around them experience a major life transition. It takes time for friends and loved ones to adjust to the changes. Some people can't adapt properly, and friendships can be broken.

Obviously, it's not a straight, 1:1 conversion between the two. It's not an exact metaphor. And, most glaringly, it likely wasn't the writers' initial intent to portray a metaphor of transgenderism, but it just struck me as fascinating how often the experiences of Trills and transgender people coincide, especially when the symbiont acquiring a new host results in a gender variance.

Has this ever occurred to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old November 23 2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

I've never met a Trill before, much less one that had hosts of different sexes. But I suppose if you've known someone closely for decades and then they suddenly underwent a major physical change, it might take some time to get used to it. Sisko's use of the term "Old Man" around Jadzia may have started off as a reference to Curzon, but I think it ultimately became a term of affection towards her, IMO.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:08 PM   #3
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

It also must have been uncomfortable for Sisko to mate with mirror universe Jadzia, as implied in "Through the Looking Glass". Presumably she carries the Dax symbiont there too, because he calls her Dax, and no one seems surprised. And the Star Trek Wiki calls her Jadzia Dax, suggesting she's joined.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

My question is, in the episode 'Fascination', whether Dax's passion for Sisko stems from Jadzia or from Dax. Hmmmm.
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Old November 23 2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

well, one of my best friends is transgendered. I knew her as a man for a decade or longer then as a woman. My husband has been friends since he was 8. I can see a
resemblence but I don't think it's the same thing.

As was proved later in DS9 in a court, a trill is not the same person they were in previous joinings because they are two personalities and lives joined.

a transgendered person is still the same person. The packaging is just a little different. And the pronouns. Belive me, the pronouns are the biggest issue for other people. lol
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Old November 23 2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

Terran wrote: View Post
My question is, in the episode 'Fascination', whether Dax's passion for Sisko stems from Jadzia or from Dax. Hmmmm.
I believe it's from Jadzia. While not canon, the novelization of "Emissary" did say that the Jadzia host was privately attracted to Sisko, something that the Dax symbiont may have found amusing. "Fascination" seems to have played onto or coincided with the earlier idea in the novel.
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Old November 24 2012, 02:46 AM   #7
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

wissaboo wrote: View Post
well, one of my best friends is transgendered. I knew her as a man for a decade or longer then as a woman. My husband has been friends since he was 8. I can see a
resemblence but I don't think it's the same thing.

As was proved later in DS9 in a court, a trill is not the same person they were in previous joinings because they are two personalities and lives joined.

a transgendered person is still the same person. The packaging is just a little different. And the pronouns. Belive me, the pronouns are the biggest issue for other people. lol
You're right, it's definitely not the same exact thing, but I can see how both Trills in Trek and transgendered people in reality face similar issues.

As a transgendered person myself, I found it nice to see at least a superficial comparison, in particular, the way everyone has to slowly adapt to a big physical change in someone close to them. In that sense, I guess Star Trek succeeded in hitting the right emotional strings in me over an issue I directly face, even if it wasn't entirely intentional--I'm sure that's something that would make the writers happy regardless.
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Old November 25 2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

Melakon wrote: View Post
It also must have been uncomfortable for Sisko to mate with mirror universe Jadzia, as implied in "Through the Looking Glass".
That's actually one of my biggest pet-peeves with this episodes and the show in general. I don't get why the writers thought it would be okay for them just to have sex without at least addressing the fact that it must be really uncomfortable for Sisko. Drives me crazy that they are presenting it as such a casual thing.
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Old November 27 2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

Nice sharing
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Old November 27 2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

M wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
It also must have been uncomfortable for Sisko to mate with mirror universe Jadzia, as implied in "Through the Looking Glass".
That's actually one of my biggest pet-peeves with this episodes and the show in general. I don't get why the writers thought it would be okay for them just to have sex without at least addressing the fact that it must be really uncomfortable for Sisko. Drives me crazy that they are presenting it as such a casual thing.
Maybe they didn't address it because it wasn't uncomfortable for Sisko to have sex with mirror Jadzia. Why would he be uncomfortable? He was undercover, and she's not his Jadzia.
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Old November 27 2012, 08:32 PM   #11
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

Pavonis wrote: View Post
M wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
It also must have been uncomfortable for Sisko to mate with mirror universe Jadzia, as implied in "Through the Looking Glass".
That's actually one of my biggest pet-peeves with this episodes and the show in general. I don't get why the writers thought it would be okay for them just to have sex without at least addressing the fact that it must be really uncomfortable for Sisko. Drives me crazy that they are presenting it as such a casual thing.
Maybe they didn't address it because it wasn't uncomfortable for Sisko to have sex with mirror Jadzia. Why would he be uncomfortable? He was undercover, and she's not his Jadzia.
Yea and regarding her being a Dax or not, I got te impression he did get a strange look when calling her Dax, which left me believing she wasn't carrying the Dax symbiote, she was just plain old Jadzia
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Old December 1 2012, 10:03 PM   #12
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Re: Trills and Transgenderism

Also non-canon: I believe the recent mirror universe continuity has Curzon still alive and the most recent Dax host, until...

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