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Old June 22 2014, 12:16 PM   #91
borgboy
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

On the subject of Vulcan trans characters, I just wanted to add that there is definitely gender differences between male and female Vulcans, at least in some ways. They at least sometimes dress differently.
Federation planets are supposed to be free of bigotry, but I couldn't help but think of the really interesting development the Andorians have gotten in the novels. I'd think that an Andorian whose sexual orientation didn't embrace the four gender marriage would face some social stigma. An Andorian who wanted to be with only one or two partners and/or wasn't attracted to the other three genders wouldn't be able to reproduce if they were true to their orientation.
As for how to handle Wesley having a gay relationship, I'd say the point would be to do it the same way his heterosexual relationships were. Wesley had a few episodes where his love interest was the main story. You give Wesley a boyfriend as the main story of the episode, but the point of the story isn't about gender or orientation, any more than it was when he had girlfriends on the show. A story featuring gay characters doesn't have to be about homosexuality any more than a story featuring straight characters has to be about heterosexuality.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:29 PM   #92
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
I couldn't help but think of the really interesting development the Andorians have gotten in the novels. I'd think that an Andorian whose sexual orientation didn't embrace the four gender marriage would face some social stigma. An Andorian who wanted to be with only one or two partners and/or wasn't attracted to the other three genders wouldn't be able to reproduce if they were true to their orientation.
Exactly. Andorians who didn't embrace the cultural standard faced intolerance, not because their orientations were seen as inherently immoral or provoked disgust - which would be the equivalent of true homophobia - but because their desires and identities were obstacles to the convention seen as socially responsible and required of all citizens. Which is the equivalent of a given homosexual person facing negative judgements or disappointment when "outing" him/herself even in the absence of true homophobia. Which is why, while I agree that in most cases homosexuality wouldn't bat an eye among cosmopolitan federates, there's still reason for certain homosexuals to face "coming out" issues of a sort in their native communities, if one wished to explore that. After all, announcing to a bar full of mixed-race Federation citizens that you're homosexual would just earn you a reaction of "And? What's the issue?", but announcing it to the elders of your village on Arbazan might be quite harrowing.

borgboy wrote: View Post
A story featuring gay characters doesn't have to be about homosexuality any more than a story featuring straight characters has to be about heterosexuality.
Indeed. The problem is finding a balance, because of course to some people - those who have been frustrated by the odd lack of homosexual characters in a franchise like Trek - it is a "big thing", something they want to see very much, but simultaneously to make an issue of it would be as bad, in terms of acceptance, as ignoring it. The urge to play a homosexual relationship as a "HOMOSEXUAL relationship" rather than a "homosexual RELATIONSHIP" would be strong, and in one way entirely understandable, but in another way... very problematic.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:48 PM   #93
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I think as long as the relationship received fair screen time, and the relationship were handled well - a normal amount of affection - people who want gay characters would be happy. I don't recall anyone ever asking for a gay story - just gay characters.
Although I liked Ezri Dax I thought it was disappointing that the next Dax wasn't a man. Worf's reaction alone would've made it worth it! But that would've left DS9 with only one female lead, which would've been a problem.
I would think that once an Andorian was past their fertile age, that it wouldn't be such a big deal if they were then in an untraditional relationship. It's worth pointing out that on Andor, exclusive heterosexuality would be just as scandalous I would expect as homosexuality. Anything outside of being attracted to the other three genders would be a cultural taboo. I am really fascinated by the Andorians.
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Old June 22 2014, 12:53 PM   #94
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
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!
Exactly. Vulcans are all about suppressing emotion and urges. A transgendered Vulcan is almost the very antithesis of this suppression and as you say, choosing a gender is very emotional and about how it makes one feel. It isn't a logical decision. At the same time, Vulcans are also supposed to accept infinite diversity in infinite combinations. How would Vulcan society accept this? How would other Vulcans treat a transgendered Vulcan? How is Pon Far handle? So many possibilities from which to write about, in my view.
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Old June 22 2014, 01:07 PM   #95
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
I would think that once an Andorian was past their fertile age, that it wouldn't be such a big deal if they were then in an untraditional relationship.
True; we have seen that in the books (partially as a way to explain why Shran, for instance, mated with Talas, but still something that made sense). Whether that sort of pairing or other non-standard matings are truly accepted or just something people turn a blind eye and a shrugged shoulder to, is perhaps worth exploring. We know that tezha, bonding with only one partner (or two, I guess) is considered the height of irresponsibility in young Andorians (sort of loosely analogous to sex before marriage in many Earth cultures), but the situation post-fertility is far more complex.

As others have noted, the books are potentially placed to explore this further now that we have zh'Tarash, who is raising her thei with a single partner (albeit not by the quad's mutual choice, since her ch'te and th'se were killed in the Borg Invasion). And with Bashir's Miracle, Andorian society is going to face a lot of upheaval in terms of an increased liberalism (and possible resistance to it), I think.
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Old June 22 2014, 03:25 PM   #96
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
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.
That's exactly what Selar's brother faced with his parents in NF: Excalibur: Renaissance. Among other things, Selar's dad considered it an illogical waste of genetic information because his son wasn't going to procreate.
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Old June 22 2014, 03:41 PM   #97
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

IIRC, I think Selar's dad's issue was more that it was a waste of time to have a sexual relationship if it wasn't required by Pon Farr...possibly an attitude of why have sex if you aren't going to reproduce kind of attitude. So while he'd have disapproved of a hetero relationship in the same situation, he would disapprove of any homosexual relationship. So not specifically homophobic maybe, but close enough.
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Old June 22 2014, 10:30 PM   #98
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
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.
Hell, the MACOs did essentially take over NX-01's security when they arrived. Seriously, aside from Reed, there's what, two or three Starfleet security officers seen in seasons 3 and 4? Hell, in the MU, Reed himself is a MACO.

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.
There was also Silent Enemy where Reed's friend tells Hoshi Reed frequented a seafood restaurant because he had a thing for the waitress, despite the fact he actually hates seafood. Also, in Shuttlepod One he composes messages for several ex-girlfriends. And also, the example I provided earlier from E-squared where he laments not being married in the other timeline and then proceeds to try and chat up the first woman he sees.
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Old June 23 2014, 05:05 AM   #99
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

borgboy wrote: View Post
As for how to handle Wesley having a gay relationship, I'd say the point would be to do it the same way his heterosexual relationships were.
The second season episode The Dauphin would have been a good choice, replacing Jaime Hubbard with male actor. The episode was non-sexual, there's (iirc) a single kiss. The storyline deals with Wesley's feeling of love and attraction for Salia.

I'm not sure, but I believe this was Wesley's first romance.

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Old June 23 2014, 11:11 AM   #100
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

There was also Silent Enemy where Reed's friend tells Hoshi Reed frequented a seafood restaurant because he had a thing for the waitress, despite the fact he actually hates seafood. Also, in Shuttlepod One he composes messages for several ex-girlfriends. And also, the example I provided earlier from E-squared where he laments not being married in the other timeline and then proceeds to try and chat up the first woman he sees.
a lot of those examples rely on him referring to off-screen girlfriends, though. They could be just as easily fictitious, or just passing flirtations that Reed is making a bigger deal about them than they were.
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Old June 24 2014, 12:28 AM   #101
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
There was also Silent Enemy where Reed's friend tells Hoshi Reed frequented a seafood restaurant because he had a thing for the waitress, despite the fact he actually hates seafood. Also, in Shuttlepod One he composes messages for several ex-girlfriends. And also, the example I provided earlier from E-squared where he laments not being married in the other timeline and then proceeds to try and chat up the first woman he sees.
a lot of those examples rely on him referring to off-screen girlfriends, though. They could be just as easily fictitious, or just passing flirtations that Reed is making a bigger deal about them than they were.
He's trapped in a metal box, slowly running out of oxygen and believes that he has almost no chance of surviving - I don't think he'd spend his remaining time composing letters to fictitious ex-girlfriends. And also, in that same episode, he dreams about T'Pol being sexually attracted to him.
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Old June 24 2014, 02:34 AM   #102
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Masiral wrote: View Post
TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
There was also Silent Enemy where Reed's friend tells Hoshi Reed frequented a seafood restaurant because he had a thing for the waitress, despite the fact he actually hates seafood. Also, in Shuttlepod One he composes messages for several ex-girlfriends. And also, the example I provided earlier from E-squared where he laments not being married in the other timeline and then proceeds to try and chat up the first woman he sees.
a lot of those examples rely on him referring to off-screen girlfriends, though. They could be just as easily fictitious, or just passing flirtations that Reed is making a bigger deal about them than they were.

He's trapped in a metal box, slowly running out of oxygen and believes that he has almost no chance of surviving - I don't think he'd spend his remaining time composing letters to fictitious ex-girlfriends. And also, in that same episode, he dreams about T'Pol being sexually attracted to him.
You know what though, as a gay guy, I could see things differently. Now bear with me. Let's say Reed has had a thing for Trip since Broken Bow. He was so into Trip in the pilot he talks about Tucker non stop with Travis, saying more than once Trip told him to keep his shirt on. Was that a phrase to tell Reed to be patient, or was it in some reference to Reed's attraction to him.

So flash forward to Shuttle Pod One. Reed's alone, with his man, drinking booze, talking about old sex conquests. Reed wants Trips attention so he recited letters to make him jealous. And when the letter writing didn't do anything but annoy Trip, he switches gears to talking buddy buddy, wink wink, about T'Pols ass. And to prove how terrible gay he is, he can't even say ass, he says bum.

(ETA: Don't give me any crap about his being British. Even if he was from Milwaukee he'd still call it a bum)

Later in the episode, when he dreams of T'Pol, was it him desiring T'Pol, or was he just interested in what his man Trip saw in her. It's not a bromance. I see now Reed was in love with Tucker in all four seasons, and the Enterprise relaunch, to the point where he goes to rescue his man from the Romulans , takes him into his arms, and make love to each other in the shuttle pod. No wait that was Trip and T'Pol. And it was T'Pol who originally was going to go after Trip. But Reed, like any gay guy, aint going to let no Vulcan flusie take his man without a fight.
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Old June 24 2014, 05:34 AM   #103
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Shane Houston wrote: View Post
I see now Reed was in love with Tucker in all four ...
First time I read that I mistook in for on.

I'm better now.

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Old June 25 2014, 10:55 PM   #104
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Shane Houston wrote: View Post
I see now Reed was in love with Tucker in all four ...
First time I read that I mistook in for on.

I'm better now.

OMG I love you.
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Old September 5 2014, 03:24 PM   #105
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Bumping this because I've discovered something that needs correction:


Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I think this collects together most of what we've learned canonically about Denobulan family life:
...
Denobulan families are large and complex; the family of Phlox, a typical member of the culture, had 720 members, with 42 romantic partnerships.
Actually Phlox didn't say his family had 720 members -- he said there were 720 different relationships that existed among the various spouses, "42 of which have romantic possibilities." For instance, among Phlox and his three wives, there'd be one relationship each between Phlox and each wife, plus relationships between wife 1 and wife 2, between wife 1 and wife 3, and between wife 2 and wife 3, so that's six relationships among four people (twelve if you define, say, "Phlox's wife Feezal" and "Feezal's husband Phlox" as two separate relationships). Then there'd be each wife's relationships with her other two husbands, then her relationships with the other wife's two husbands, then each husband's relationship with each other husband, etc. So the number of relationships -- the number of possible pairings of distinct members of the family -- is significantly larger than the actual number of members of the family.

Now, the tricky part is breaking down the actual numbers here, combinatorically speaking. How did the scriptwriters of "A Night in Sickbay" (or their technical advisors) arrive at the number of 720 different relationship combinations, 42 of which could be sexual? I'm guessing it's got to do with combinatorics. We're talking about the number of possible combinations of n marital partners taken 2 at a time, so we want n!/2!(n-2)! = 720 (where n! equals n-factorial, i.e. 4! = 1x2x3x4). Now, Phlox plus his three wives plus their two other husbands each is ten people, but 10!/2!(10-2)! = 45. Or if we disregard order (as in my Phlox/Feezal parenthetical) and do it as permutations, it becomes 10!/(10-2)! = 90 relationships.

I can get 720 if it's 10!/(10-3)!, but then we'd have to define a relationship as being between three people, and that doesn't make sense.

Okay, so what if we extend it one more tier? Each of those six husbands besides Phlox has up to an additional two wives, bringing the total number of partners to 22. 22!/2!(22-2)! = 231 -- still not there. Each of those 12 extra wives in turn has two other husbands, for 46 partners; 46!/2!(46-2)! = 1035. Now it's too much.

Okay, so I can't get combinatorics to work. I'm starting to think Phlox just got his math wrong. Either that or he's defining "relationship" in a way that can include three or more people. Anyone else want to take a stab at the math?
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