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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old June 7 2014, 05:39 PM   #1
Echtzeit
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Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Somewhere on the internet I read, that Dominic Keating said something like "God knows I played him gay." I have always considered that a stupid comment intended to be a joke or something.

But what if Reed really was gay? I know, there's been talk about female companions over the course of ENT, but it's not unheard of that some people have discovered they're gay later in life. Or better, came out later in life for whatever reasons.

What do you think? Gay or nay?
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Old June 7 2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

^No story ideas, please. But I can't think of a reason why someone in the 22nd century would need to hide being gay in the first place, so there'd be no closet to come out of. Malcolm has certainly shown plenty of interest in women, although of course that doesn't preclude being bi.
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Old June 7 2014, 05:54 PM   #3
Echtzeit
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Sorry, this wasn't intended to be a story idea. It was more like a question. But I can see where you're coming from.

Maybe this can be moved to a better forum location?

Back to topic: Maybe he never really "hid" his sexuality. And this "plenty of interest" was never really shown they way Archer and Trip had female encounters. Even Travis. Or maybe I'm just mistaken here, I don't know. But I have to re-watch ENT to tell if he ever had a female companion on screen or even if there was talk about a past girlfriend.

Anyway... like I said, maybe he just never spoke about his sexuality, because it was never relevant, but now that he - hypothetically - fell in love with someone... why hide it?
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Old June 7 2014, 07:03 PM   #4
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Have you not seen the Reed/Hayes fight in "Harbinger"? It is probably the most homo-erotic scene in all of Star Trek.

Had the PTB made Reed being gay, it would've been the best thing about ENT--finally giving Star Trek a gay character.
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Old June 7 2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

As for the past girlfriends, in "Shuttlepod One" reed and trip discover they both dated Ruby, and in "Silent Enemy" one of his friends from the academy says he used to go to a fish restaurant because he liked the waitress, despite hating fish.
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Old June 7 2014, 07:43 PM   #6
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Not to mention the silly amount of goodbye letters he was writing in Shuttlepod One.

Reed's straight, or at the very least bi. I'm all about equality, but I would be disappointed if an established character, who had shown no inclination towards same-gender love, suddenly come out of the closet as a PC thing to do.

I love how TrekLit has covered the issue of being gay sofar, with it simply being. That's it. It's a non-issue. I love that they didn't make a big fuss out of creating gay characters, because to me it shows a hope that the authors and editors have for real life. That one day, it simply won't matter.
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Old June 8 2014, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I felt like they played with it a little bit here and there in ENT, acknowledging the rumour without really doing anything about it. Like the aforementioned sweaty man-pummelling of "Harbinger," revealing that he never got married or had a family in "E2," or the deliberate cut after the question "Were you attracted to him?" in "TATV."

As for the possibility, it is possible that a person's self-definition can change over time without them ever being closeted, deceitful or straight-washing themselves. It was obviously a missed opportunity on the show, and cowardice on the part of the writers no doubt, but not completely out of the realms of possibility for the character to move in that direction now in the Lit.

.
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Old June 8 2014, 12:44 AM   #8
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Except now that I've read a thread where it was proposed, I can't do it. This is why we have rules against posting story ideas in this forum.
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Old June 8 2014, 02:39 AM   #9
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Yeah, a discussion of Reed and his sexuality really should have been in the ENT forum. Too late now, the damage is done.

But on topic, yes many people made jokes about Reed being gay over the years, including Dominic Keating. And it is true, Reed's relationship with Major Hayes had a lot of homoerotic subtext. Hell, it almost seemed in Countdown that if Hayes wasn't killed then him and Reed would develop a romantic relationship.

Although, I doubt the ENT writers ever intended the character to be gay. Even if we ignore his interest in women expressed in season 1 to simply be him being in the closet for whatever reason, certainly by season 3 he was firmly established as straight. In E-squared when he learned that his other self never married his immediate reaction was to try to chat up the first woman he saw, hardly the attitude of a gay man, even one in the closet.
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Old June 8 2014, 04:36 AM   #10
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Yeah... I certainly wouldn't mind establishing a central character as gay, but everyone in the core cast is pretty much already established as heterosexual. Well, although Phlox is kind of ambiguous -- each of his three wives has two other husbands, but they were never described as being his husbands as well, so it's unclear how that works (though it is a question I intend to tackle before much longer).

I'm pretty sure Ensign Grev is gay, though.
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Old June 8 2014, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Rumors about Malcolm being gay have been going around since he was first introduced. The OP didn't invent that idea, so I don't see how that prevents it being used. But...
I don't think it would work to have an established heterosexual come out as gay, because I don't believe that in the 22nd century of ST that the closet would exist any more. Someone having to come out would betray the spirit of complete lack of prejudice that is so important in ST.
He could be bi, and I wouldn't hate it, but I'd rather see original gay characters be created, and the established gay characters, like Tripp's brother and his husband for example, be used.
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Old June 8 2014, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Indeed, I agree with posts #10 and #11.

I'd like to point out, though, that the 22nd century is especially interesting in Human development because it is halfway between our contemporary prejudiced society and the utopian 23rd and esp. 24th centuries. So, we know being LGBT is totally okay in the 22nd century but there still are other types of prejudices, e.g. against aliens (ENT "Home", "Demons", MyrU "A Less Perfect Union").

Some of these prejudices have a firm or deep root (March 3rd, 2153 and farmer Moore as per F:150Y), others may stem from unfamiliarity (Doctor Liao's reaction to Tobin Dax's secret). Unusual groups always have to fight to gain recognition from Humanity, be it blacks, LGBT, and even artificial life in the 24th century.

The bottom line is, whether Reed is straight or bi-curious, there's no closet for that on 22nd century Earth. That doesn't rule out that there're still prejudices against some aliens and/or their lifestyles (cf. Trip's reaction to the Lorillian weaning).
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Old June 8 2014, 12:27 PM   #13
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Markonian wrote: View Post
The bottom line is, whether Reed is straight or bi-curious, there's no closet for that on 22nd century Earth.
I can't say I see the character as anything other than straight, but for arguements sake say he was bi - I don't think Reed would need to be in the closet (even if one existed in the 22nd century) for people not to know - it's not like he was ever a character that felt comfortable sharing personal information. Remember how much difficulty they had trying to find out what food he liked for his birthday?
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Old June 8 2014, 12:35 PM   #14
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, although Phlox is kind of ambiguous -- each of his three wives has two other husbands, but they were never described as being his husbands as well, so it's unclear how that works (though it is a question I intend to tackle before much longer).
I'll be interested to see how you interpret Denobulan sexuality. The Denobulans have always intrigued me - I thought Enterprise did a very good job with Phlox regarding his personal qualities and overall manner, relative to what was revealed to us about Denobula. Such a crowded planet, his outward demeanour of cheerful amiability and occasionally puzzling detachment made perfect sense to me. Add to that their lack of sleep, and it seems they're a people who learn from a young age to deflect discomfort and project a friendly indifference.

I think this collects together most of what we've learned canonically about Denobulan family life:

Denobulan mating practices are complicated. Denobulans dislike prolonged physical contact, despite their tendency to congregate in large groups. Therefore, in order to convince the male to mate with her, the female Denobulan naturally releases potent pheromones during the mating season. The pheromones sometimes work too well, however, and males competing for mates can become violent. The drug Niaxilin can be successful in helping them settle down, but even with this medical assistance male Denobulans are unusually volatile during the mating season. The actual act of mating, known as Jaa-uu-gah, can require medical supervision. Because they’re adapted to respond to pheromones, Denobulan males get severe headaches when exposed to those of Orion females. Because of the discomfort a Denobulan feels when touched, outside of the mating season lovers do not kiss or hug one another, but instead show affection by inhaling each others’ scent, deliberately and demonstratively.

Denobulan families are large and complex; the family of Phlox, a typical member of the culture, had 720 members, with 42 romantic partnerships. An individual usually aims to acquire three spouses, each of whom will themselves have two other mates. Other combinations are not unknown, but tend to be frowned upon by mainstream Denobulan society. Mates tend to be chosen, not arranged, although the mating selection process can involve combatants, if multiple males respond to a single female. Both sexes contribute to the nurturing of the offspring: Denobulan society in general appears to have moved beyond gender-specific social roles. Sexual relations outside of marriage are not unusual, as Denobulans have no taboo against remaining sexually available after acquiring all three spouses. In fact, a Denobulan will often express pride when one of their mates is pursued by others; it suggests that they’ve chosen well. Lovers can also seem to treat long periods of separation incredibly casually to Human eyes. When Phlox was reunited with one of his wives for the first time in four years, he cheerfully informed his Human friends that he was in no hurry: another minute or two of separation wouldn’t make a difference.
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Old June 8 2014, 12:53 PM   #15
Echtzeit
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Re: Malcolm Reed and his love-life *** minor spoiler ***

I already said I was sorry. "Damage" is a pretty harsh word. I mean, I'm not the only one who ever came up with this idea, and I can't recall demanding something like "Make him gay, writers!" All I wanted was to ask a question and because of the fact that I am unused to this forum, it ended up in the wrong section apparently.

So, again, I'm sorry. It wasn't my intention that this simple question would cause such "damage".
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