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Old June 21 2014, 02:00 PM   #76
borgboy
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Actually, there's a gay Vulcan and a non-heteronormative Vulcan in New Frontier - Selar has a relationship with the hermaphrodite Burgoyne. We don't really have a label for that, that I know of, so I don't know if I'd say she was bisexual, but maybe she was anyways.
Vanguard also had a lesbian Vulcan.
If transgenderism is an acknowledged medical condition, then I'd think that it would be logical for the trans Vulcan to live as their innate gender. For all we know, it's commonplace for trans Vulcans to be born and transition early in life, and that's the Federation norm, so no one thinks anything of it.
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Old June 21 2014, 02:34 PM   #77
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
I never got the impression from Reed, as presented on Enterprise, that he was gay, nor do I think it was ever intended by the writers to make him gay. Anyone who thinks this, in my opinion, is reading into something a little too much, or simply wants the character to be gay for whatever reason, and are seeing what they want to see.
It definitely wasn't intended by the writers, but someone on the writing staff was certainly aware of the growing belief in fandom that Reed was gay, since we did get that fake out "were you attracted to him?" in TATV.

Besides, the stuff between Reed and Major Hayes had way too much homoerotic subtext to it to ignore.
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Old June 21 2014, 04:27 PM   #78
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I read an interview when ENT first came on where TPTB were asked if one of the characters were gay, and they said maybe, they hadn't decided. I was appalled that they didn't know their characters that well at that point, but who else could they have been considering at that point? I think everyone else was established as hetero pretty quickly. I've heard references strongly suggesting that Malcolm being gay was considered.
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Old June 21 2014, 04:32 PM   #79
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
so no one thinks anything of it.
And to me, that's why there was never a big focus on people being gay in TrekLit, and why it was always an issue to make it believable in TrekTV.

If it's supposed to be a non-issue, how do you make it an issue in Star Trek without it becoming weird or pushy? They have tried, with various results in fandom.

For me, having a gay character on a Trek tvshow, would simply have a male saying something about an ex-boyfriend who couldn't deal with the risk of having a loved one in the service, and that's why he's single at the moment, and move on. No huge spotlights and drumroles. It's just there, because honestly, in the 24th century, it shouldn't matter anymore.

If writers are going to make a HUGE deal of it, it will feel forced.
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Old June 21 2014, 04:40 PM   #80
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I definitely wouldn't want a character being gay to be a big deal, any more than race was in TOS. That wouldn't be true to the spirit of Trek. No one, at least no humans, would or should be coming out on Star Trek. LGBT should be accepted so that it's unnecessary.
But you can and should still have actual gay characters, you just treat them the same as anyone else. There are plenty of characters on Trek who were clearly straight even if they weren't shown in a relationship, it's not that difficult to do. Their partner or ex partner is referenced, or an attraction or interest in someone is exhibited - these things are done with straight characters so casually and so often no one thinks anything of them.
This makes me think of how surprising it was in the movie Showgirls, where gay couples were mixed into a party scene, just extras. That's something you almost never see.
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Old June 21 2014, 06:28 PM   #81
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
I read an interview when ENT first came on where TPTB were asked if one of the characters were gay, and they said maybe, they hadn't decided. I was appalled that they didn't know their characters that well at that point, but who else could they have been considering at that point? I think everyone else was established as hetero pretty quickly. I've heard references strongly suggesting that Malcolm being gay was considered.
I think more than likely they weren't seriously planning to make anyone gay, but just said they were undecided in the interview as not to offend anyone with a direct no.
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Old June 21 2014, 07:02 PM   #82
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
borgboy wrote: View Post
I read an interview when ENT first came on where TPTB were asked if one of the characters were gay, and they said maybe, they hadn't decided. I was appalled that they didn't know their characters that well at that point, but who else could they have been considering at that point? I think everyone else was established as hetero pretty quickly. I've heard references strongly suggesting that Malcolm being gay was considered.
I think more than likely they weren't seriously planning to make anyone gay, but just said they were undecided in the interview as not to offend anyone with a direct no.
I kind of thing that's a possibility. Another example of how badly this issue has been handled. Then they tried to pass off the mind meld prejudice on ENT as being gay subtext.
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Old June 21 2014, 11:52 PM   #83
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
I definitely wouldn't want a character being gay to be a big deal, any more than race was in TOS. That wouldn't be true to the spirit of Trek.
With race /skin color, it's on display as soon as we see the character for the first time. With being gay the writers have to let the audience know at some point or the character effectively isn't gay.

So a "medium deal" has to be made of it, for the majority of the major characters a "deal" was made of their sexuality at some point.

No one, at least no humans, would or should be coming out on Star Trek.
If for example TPTB wrote Wesley Crusher as gay, and he come out in say season two or three, what would be wrong with that?

LGBT should be accepted so that it's unnecessary.
There's also the internal aspect of coming out, the self-realization, it can be a gradual process or a sudden personal epiphany. Coming out can also be when you discuss the matter with the people you trust and go to for personal advise.

Unless you feel that people in the future don't do that.

I did kind of get the feeling that Reed didn't have any close friends among the crew, friendships yes, but not close ones. If he did in his adult life begin to realize that he was gay, who he would talk to about it on the ship is unclear.

LGBT should be accepted
I've never seen the assumption that some fans have that the Federation has basically a single culture, some species cultures would practice acceptance, but it's unlikely that all do.


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Old June 22 2014, 01:00 AM   #84
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Mage wrote: View Post
^^^^ We've had a gay Vulcan in New Frontier, so in TrekLit-canon, they excist. I suppose it makes the concept of a transsexual/transgender Vulcan possible.
Well I think ANYTHING is possible in fiction But I think that would be an interesting angle to explore, especially considering Vulcan culture is on one hand extremely conservative, yet on the other hand, aren't, since they are basically pacifists and profess the IDIC philosophy, I would like to see how that dynamic is explored. Vulcans are like walking contradictions as a whole, and I just think there would be a lot of possibilities for a writer to write about a transsexual/transgender Vulcan.

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
I never got the impression from Reed, as presented on Enterprise, that he was gay, nor do I think it was ever intended by the writers to make him gay. Anyone who thinks this, in my opinion, is reading into something a little too much, or simply wants the character to be gay for whatever reason, and are seeing what they want to see.
It definitely wasn't intended by the writers, but someone on the writing staff was certainly aware of the growing belief in fandom that Reed was gay, since we did get that fake out "were you attracted to him?" in TATV.

Besides, the stuff between Reed and Major Hayes had way too much homoerotic subtext to it to ignore.
Yeah I do remember when Enterprise was on air, some fans wanted him to come out as gay. I'd have to rewatch the episode of the Reed and Hayes fighting. I'm not saying it wasn't there, just saying that if there was any subtext, I didn't see it.

And generally speaking, when people talk about subtext, it is really, really subjective. I mean sure there are some cases where the subtext is real (IE Xena, Rizzoli and Isles), but even then, that often is reactionary to the fan base, and the writers are catering to that fan base. But in the beginning, that subtext is often unintentional.
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Old June 22 2014, 01:50 AM   #85
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I agree, subtext is subjective.
On the subject of a Trek character coming out...people only come out when there's a closet. The closet only exists when there's a need for people to hide, because of homophobia and heterosexism. In the idealistic world of Trek, there would be no homophobia, not on Earth, and I don't think any Federation worlds. Without homophobia gay kids would never have a reason to hide their true orientation, so they'd never have anything to go into the closet for, so they wouldn't have to come out.
So if Wesley were going to be gay as T'Girl suggested, I don't see how he could be in his mid teens before he was expressing himself as being gay. He'd have had normal middle school crushes just like anyone else, so a reboot Wesley coming out in season 3 would betray the idealism of Trek. It would be like having Uhura deal with racism on Earth.
Gay people only accept their true orientation at a later age than straight people because of social pressures that wouldn't exist in Trek.
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Old June 22 2014, 03:05 AM   #86
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
Yeah I do remember when Enterprise was on air, some fans wanted him to come out as gay. I'd have to rewatch the episode of the Reed and Hayes fighting. I'm not saying it wasn't there, just saying that if there was any subtext, I didn't see it.
I found the subtext became noticeable after their fight. Countdown especially (the episode where Hayes was killed) I remember while watching the first time that the episode practically made them look like lovers.
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Old June 22 2014, 08:03 AM   #87
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

T'Girl wrote: View Post
If for example TPTB wrote Wesley Crusher as gay, and he come out in say season two or three, what would be wrong with that?
The problem lies in how to do it.

Wesley has realized he's gay, and basicly simply tells his mum. He'd probably be as shy as any teenager admitting he's in love, but there will be no shock from Beverly whatsoever. That's it. No problem.

However, now you have to write an episode where it happens. For some people, both straight who support this and people in the LBGT community, doing only this and nothing more, could feel insulted for having it only as a 1 minute clip in an episode and that's it. They've wanted a gay character for so long, and now it's almost nothing more then a footnote.

So, you want to write a whole episode about it. Having it being a problem for Wesley to come out of the closet and being scared of people's reaction, would seem unrealistic for the 24th century, because we can asume by now that there is no more closet to come out of. Everything would just seem odd, forced and overly dramatic.

So, let's say, Wesley has realized he's in love with a male ensign, and they are somehow stranded on an alien planet, with a species that is completey against being gay, they punish/imprison/kill them, and they have a way of 'detecting' gay. Everything about an episode like that would sound contrived, convenient, over the top, to obvious, silly, stupid, whatnot. There's really only a small change that episode will be properly written and will do the cause of exceptence for gay people any good when it is basicly a bad episode.

The only thing that really would work, is to have a character on a show established as being gay, and just being gay. No fanfare, no big deals, no akward reactions from fellow humans, or aliens that are part of the Federation really, since one of the conditions for being allowed membership is no bigotry. He/she simply is, and that's cool.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:15 AM   #88
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Well, to me, these two look like they want to kill each other. I don't see any gay subtext here, personally:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8eMvA-7Iho

As for after that fight, I always got the impression it was more a mutual (grudging) respect thing going on between them, but like I said, I am not saying its not there, just I don't see it. I don't remember Hayes' death scene, but if they seemed close, that doesn't necessarily mean sexual. When people go through battle together, they often form attachments to one another, but it is more like as siblings, than anything.

I read that Reed/Hayes thing more as two guys in similar jobs who see each other as rivals, but probably more so on Reed's side. I think that was because the MACOs were brought on board in the first place because Starfleet felt Reed and his security team weren't getting the job done, and Reed took it personally. So, Reed had an inferiority complex, and took it out on Hayes. Later on, when they serve together, they gain respect for one another.

But as far as if they were to write an Enterprise male character as gay, I agree Reed would have made the most sense of the main cast members. He wasn't attached to anyone, and I really think he was mostly just married to his work as security. The only two times he seemed interested romantically in anyone (besides talking about Ruby) was in T'Pol (I think most of the males on Enterprise were, though), and the female tac officer on Cogenitor. So, had they written Reed as gay, or even bisexual, I think it could have been done, and done well.
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Old June 22 2014, 11:49 AM   #89
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
Another idea I think may be interesting is what if there were a transsexual Vulcan? Now, unlike Earth or Starfleet in 22, 23, or the 24th centuries, where LGBT shouldn't be a big deal, I can see Vulcans, who are uber conservative and uber repressed, maybe having an issue with a transsexual Vulcan. Not unlike the shame T'pol had to face for being with a telepathic Vulcan, maybe Vulcan society struggles with the "logic" of a Vulcan who changes his or her gender, and lives as the opposite gender of their birth. I think that would be an interesting story line.
That's an interesting idea. As you say, Vulcan mainstream culture might have an strong opposition to transsexual identity and the resulting decisions because they're seen as being based in emotion or in sub-rational, "instinctive" matters of identity, rather than hard logic? Which is to say, it's not so much the idea that one wishes to live as the other sex that they have issues with, so much as the motive for doing so being at odds with what they consider socially responsible. Whereas a non-Vulcan might think "okay, you feel like you're really the other sex, sure, I'm not stopping you" (and a Betazoid, say, might insist that "if that's how you feel, you must of course follow it through") a Vulcan might say "You feel that you are rightly or more satisfactorily a member of the other sex? That is not logical. Feelings are to be suppressed, as when indulged they are the enemy of rationality". Which is interesting, because it's not transexual identity itself that they would be opposing, it would be the means by which that identity is arrived at. So I agree that transsexual Vulcans would be an interesting thing to explore!
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Old June 22 2014, 12:03 PM   #90
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

T'Girl wrote: View Post
LGBT should be accepted
I've never seen the assumption that some fans have that the Federation has basically a single culture, some species cultures would practice acceptance, but it's unlikely that all do.

Plus, opposition to varying forms of expression, sexuality and/or family structure can take many forms, and exist for many reasons. Bucking tradition or failing to live within the structured norms of whatever culture, society or community a person originates in can be difficult for reasons other than simple flat-out rejection of homosexuality. It can be a case of guilt over "letting others down" regarding their assumptions as to what you'd do to keep their traditions going, the extinction of a family line, rejection of arranged courtships that are seen as ensuring social stability, etc. It's entirely possible for someone to face difficulty in admitting that they're homosexual, not because their families/communities have a blanket opposition to homosexuality, but because the fact of their homosexuality will cause complications to a particularly tradition-bound culture. It's entirely possible that a person might face "you're homosexual, oh, that's disappointing" without facing opposition to the existence or legitimacy of homosexuality.

That is to say, it's far more complex, particularly in traditional, conservative, tightly-knit and highly structured societies (which we know exist within the UFP, and quite logically) than "EWWW, Gay" (if you'll excuse me there). Acceptance of homosexuality as "legitimate" doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy for a given person to announce that they're homosexual. In some cultures, sure; in others, often not so much.

So, I can certainly see why "coming out" might still be an issue in some situations even if no-one generally blinks an eye at homosexuality. Or, even more generally, acceptance of variety and difference doesn't necessarily translate into everyone feeling they have the social freedom to be different. Most people are torn between individual expression and societal pressures, and expectations regarding family, sexuality and courtship are among the most powerful. Which is why encouraging social acceptance of homosexuality in many parts of the real world requires more work than simply discarding homophobia. A necessary place to start, for sure, but things are never that simple.
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