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

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Old May 5 2011, 10:42 PM   #151
borgboy
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
you 21st century people and your labels...

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I have a problem with this whole idea of rejecting labels. It's almost always gay and bi people who don't want to be labeled, you rarely ever hear heteros being shy about saying they're straight. So from what I've seen, avoiding labels equals gay invisibility.
I'm gay and queer. I've got no problem saying that, at least in any situation where I don't feel like my safety would be endangered by being honest.
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Old May 5 2011, 10:57 PM   #152
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

^I happen to be heterosexual, but I don't want to be labeled that way. That's merely a description of my preferences in one aspect of behavior, not a definition of who I am. I don't want to be labeled as "white" either, or as anything else. I want to be labeled as Christopher. I want to be defined by who I am, not what I am. I want to be seen as an individual, not merely an entry in a uniform category. So no, it's not only minorities who object to labeling.

And I have strong objections to the word "straight," because it implies that homosexuality is twisted or bent. It's the only instance I know of a label for one group that's an implicit insult to a different group. (No, wait, there's also "right-handed," where the very name is a blatant value judgment.)
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Old May 5 2011, 11:24 PM   #153
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Funny enough, I somehow got the impression that you were gay Christopher! I don't know where I got that impression. I may have just imagined it because you were good with using gay characters in your books. Not just using them at all, but using them well. I hope that sounds like a compliment, that's how I meant it
I've loved your books btw since I'm having a little fan moment.
And of course I want to be seen as an individual, but labeling is part of it too, and I think within a minority, labels pro or con are a bigger issue. As a gay in a small town in the midwest, I'm very much an outsider, and that status is in many ways a defining characteristic, whether i like it or not.
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Old May 6 2011, 12:14 AM   #154
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

I don't see a problem with labels, as such...as long as they're true.

Christopher wrote: View Post
(No, wait, there's also "right-handed," where the very name is a blatant value judgment.)
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Old May 6 2011, 01:07 AM   #155
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

borgboy wrote: View Post
Funny enough, I somehow got the impression that you were gay Christopher! I don't know where I got that impression. I may have just imagined it because you were good with using gay characters in your books. Not just using them at all, but using them well. I hope that sounds like a compliment, that's how I meant it
I find that rather odd, frankly. If a writer was good with using alien characters, would you assume the writer was an alien? You don't have to belong to a group in order to understand its members. You just have to pay attention and use your imagination.

Besides, I haven't included that many gay characters in my Trek books, not in sizeable roles. I've written for Keru a couple of times, but not in any romantic context where his orientation would be relevant. I included a lesbian couple in The Buried Age, but in a minor capacity. I've tried to be inclusive of everyone, but there are plenty of other Trek authors who've done more with GLBT characters than I have to date. So I honestly don't know what you're thinking of here.



Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
(No, wait, there's also "right-handed," where the very name is a blatant value judgment.)
I'm not joking. That's literally why the "right hand" is called that -- in the belief that it's the "correct" hand to use. And the derivation of the word "left" is even more offensive -- it's from a word meaning weak and useless (one etymology on Dictionary.com even relates it to a word meaning "castrated"). Then there's the fact that the Latin word for "left" is sinister. There's centuries of handedness prejudice embedded in our language, and that's no laughing matter. (Indeed, there was a time when left-handed people were subjected to abusive, damaging "cures" for their condition the same way gay people have been more recently.)
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Old May 6 2011, 01:16 AM   #156
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Christopher wrote: View Post
borgboy wrote: View Post
Funny enough, I somehow got the impression that you were gay Christopher! I don't know where I got that impression. I may have just imagined it because you were good with using gay characters in your books. Not just using them at all, but using them well. I hope that sounds like a compliment, that's how I meant it
I find that rather odd, frankly. If a writer was good with using alien characters, would you assume the writer was an alien? You don't have to belong to a group in order to understand its members. You just have to pay attention and use your imagination.

Besides, I haven't included that many gay characters in my Trek books, not in sizeable roles. I've written for Keru a couple of times, but not in any romantic context where his orientation would be relevant. I included a lesbian couple in The Buried Age, but in a minor capacity. I've tried to be inclusive of everyone, but there are plenty of other Trek authors who've done more with GLBT characters than I have to date. So I honestly don't know what you're thinking of here.



Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
(No, wait, there's also "right-handed," where the very name is a blatant value judgment.)
I'm not joking. That's literally why the "right hand" is called that -- in the belief that it's the "correct" hand to use. And the derivation of the word "left" is even more offensive -- it's from a word meaning weak and useless (one etymology on Dictionary.com even relates it to a word meaning "castrated"). Then there's the fact that the Latin word for "left" is sinister. There's centuries of handedness prejudice embedded in our language, and that's no laughing matter. (Indeed, there was a time when left-handed people were subjected to abusive, damaging "cures" for their condition the same way gay people have been more recently.)
I don't know where I got the idea you were gay. It may well be that I was given bad info somewhere in the past. It doesn't really matter.
That any writer takes the trouble to include gay characters in ST, especially a few years back, does grab my attention a little I have to admit.
Again with the labeling, I know, but with Mangles not writing Trek fiction, is there any openly gay person currently writing Trek novels? Just curious.
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Old May 6 2011, 01:20 AM   #157
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm not joking. That's literally why the "right hand" is called that -- in the belief that it's the "correct" hand to use.
And not because it's, well, on the RIGHT of one's body, as in direction? Sorry, I'm chalking that one up to coincidence. People call right-handedness that, because that's the location of the body where that hand is, nothing more than that. Same goes for the left-handedness. Any negative connotations arose AFTER the fact.

If you were talking Left-WING or right-WING, I might be more inclined to go along with it, because those terms have nothing to do with physical location (that I'm aware of). But not with hands.
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Old May 6 2011, 01:43 AM   #158
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And not because it's, well, on the RIGHT of one's body, as in direction? Sorry, I'm chalking that one up to coincidence.
It's in the dictionary, man.

right
"opposite of left," 1125, riht, from O.E. riht, which did not have this sense but meant "good, proper, fitting, straight" (see right (adj.1) ). The notion is of the right hand as the "correct" hand. ... Cf. similar sense evolution in Du. recht, Ger. recht "right (not left)," from O.H.G. reht, which meant only "straight, just."
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Old May 6 2011, 01:45 AM   #159
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

^ That's the meaning of the lone word "right", yes. But it's not why the term "right handed" exists. That's because it's referring to the hand that's on the right of the body. I'm not denying that there's bias against the left-handed, but that arose AFTER the term "right handed" was decided upon. It's not like there was a massive international conspiracy that said "Okay, we're going to call it 'right handed' because that's the correct hand."
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Old May 6 2011, 02:20 AM   #160
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

borgboy wrote: View Post
captcalhoun wrote: View Post
you 21st century people and your labels...
[/captain jack]
I have a problem with this whole idea of rejecting labels. It's almost always gay and bi people who don't want to be labeled,
And what about people who object to labels because they honestly believe that heterosexuality or homosexuality don't really exist innately and are, rather, cultural constructs?

Read some queer theory before you start ranting about how it's just gay people uncomfortable with saying they're gay.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ That's the meaning of the lone word "right", yes. But it's not why the term "right handed" exists. That's because it's referring to the hand that's on the right of the body.
And what Christopher is saying is that that side of the body is called the "right" side (rather than a completely different word -- the "yorth" side, for instance, or whatever) out of a belief that that side was somehow superior to the opposite side and that the use of that side was morally superior.
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Old May 6 2011, 02:32 AM   #161
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Sci wrote: View Post
borgboy wrote: View Post
captcalhoun wrote: View Post
you 21st century people and your labels...
[/captain jack]
I have a problem with this whole idea of rejecting labels. It's almost always gay and bi people who don't want to be labeled,
And what about people who object to labels because they honestly believe that heterosexuality or homosexuality don't really exist innately and are, rather, cultural constructs?

Read some queer theory before you start ranting about how it's just gay people uncomfortable with saying they're gay.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ That's the meaning of the lone word "right", yes. But it's not why the term "right handed" exists. That's because it's referring to the hand that's on the right of the body.
And what Christopher is saying is that that side of the body is called the "right" side (rather than a completely different word -- the "yorth" side, for instance, or whatever) out of a belief that that side was somehow superior to the opposite side and that the use of that side was morally superior.
People are entitled to their own opinions, but I am homosexual and firmly believe I am inately homosexual. I have zero intrest in the opposite sex. I was expressing my opinion, but I don't think I was "ranting". I did say it was "almost always" gay and bi people with that opinion, but I didn't say the opinion was just held by gays. I belive it is mostly gay and bi people who express the desire to avoid labels, but I'm aware of course there will be some straight people who feel the same way.
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Old May 6 2011, 02:41 AM   #162
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Sci wrote: View Post
that side of the body is called the "right" side (rather than a completely different word -- the "yorth" side, for instance, or whatever) out of a belief that that side was somehow superior to the opposite side and that the use of that side was morally superior.
Uh.....right.

So what you're saying is, any use at all of the terms 'left' and 'right' is automatically tied to some kind of prejudice, is that right? If I tell somebody to turn right on a given street to reach my house, I'm telling them I'm superior? If I answer a question with the word "right", I've got a complex? Time for another , I think.

And before anyone asks, yes, I am aware of the origins of the terms 'left wing' and 'right wing', and that has nothing to do with prejudice. It dates back to the French Revolution. I'll leave it to y'all to look that up.
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Old May 6 2011, 04:14 AM   #163
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
So what you're saying is, any use at all of the terms 'left' and 'right' is automatically tied to some kind of prejudice, is that right?
Yes. In many western languages, the direction "right" literally comes from the word "correct." Most of them go farther, and the direction "left" comes from "wrong" or "sinister."

It's not a coincidence, and it's not a homophone. "Right" meant "correct" first, and then was applied as the name for the "correct" direction.

Sadly, it's kind of baked into the languages at this point, so I can't just avoid saying it as I do when I try not to refer to cheating with the word "gyp" (for instance).
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Old May 6 2011, 05:05 AM   #164
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

^Right. It's not what any one person here is saying, it's the consensus of linguists and etymologists. It's a very well-documented phenomenon in many languages.

And really, why would it be surprising that usage in many languages is based in prejudices? People have had all sorts of prejudice and intolerance for thousands of years. The idea that intolerance is a bad thing is a rather recent innovation, a sign of our increasing maturity as a civilization. Of course we're not saying that people today intend to use "right" and "left" in the way we're explaining; we're just stuck with the words our ancestors coined. But our ancestors didn't hestitate to be insulting and unfair to their fellow humans. There are all sorts of prejudices encoded in the language, like the use of "man" as a generic term for "human," "balls" (male genitalia) as a slang term for courage or strength (implying it's impossible for women to have those qualities), the use of terms for disabilities like "blind," "lame," or "dumb" (literally mute) as insults, etc. Not to mention more innocuous misconceptions encoded in our language, like saying the sun "rises" and "sets" when it's actually the Earth rotating.
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Old May 6 2011, 06:19 AM   #165
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Re: LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I don't see a problem with labels, as such...as long as they're true.
I'm assuming this is a joke.....right?
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