Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassified)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by starri, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Andy Mangels

    Andy Mangels Writer Red Shirt

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    @Starri - If I ever get to write Titan again, you will definitely see more of Keru's personal life. I know certain of the authors purposely stayed away from revealing the details because it was assumed that Mike and I were going to write more Titan together and it could be explored there. Alas, I am not writing Trek now though, so it hasn't been explored.

    And Ra Havreii was designed to be a complete and total slut. That was one of his major character traits, so him sleeping around is one of his m.o.'s. Keru, is not, but as noted, there have been breadcrumbs that he is starting to develop a new relationship... or at least date again.

    @ neogothboy - I find it interesting that in 4 of 5 episodes of Teen Wolf, they've brought up a gay character, and had a running gag about it (and he's had minor scenes). And Nine Lives of Chloe King introduced gay dads in its second episode, which means that it has already had more gay references (for a show set in SF) in two shows than Charmed had in 8 seasons! I suspect it's going to be a pretty much common thing for shows going into the future, especially shows that want to capture a younger market. Supernatural has had some very minor gay material (usually slash-y joking or people thinking the brothers are lovers), ditto Smallville. Contrast that to Vampire Diaries, run by a gay man, which I don't think has had a gay character in three seasons so far... Have yet to see any on Falling Skies (but I expect to) but I don't recall any on V. So perhaps on TV, it's a case of younger show-runners/producers thinking outside their box, while older show-runners stay in a rut.

    And FYI, Marco was 500% behind us including GLBT characters in our books, and worked to strengthen their roles. So I am absolutely certain that no slight was intended.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  2. Marco Palmieri

    Marco Palmieri Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    I don't think you implied any such thing, and you owe me no apology.

    I meant to congratulate you on that last time. My best wishes to you both for a long and happy life together.

    Thanks for reading it, and for posting your thoughts.

    Best,
     
  3. Smitty

    Smitty Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    I am pretty sure I will step in it here but oh well....


    I am not sure what the issue is here? Treklit has had several gay characters and relationships in it hasnt it?
     
  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    Absolutely it has. But the existence or otherwise of those relationships is not really the OP's question. It was more that those relationships didn't seem to be happy and long-lived ones, but were always confronted with some trauma of some kind.

    And the thread has demonstrated that while there may be some truth to that, there are a number of reasons why it might have come to be, both within and without the narrative, and also that there was no malicious intent behind it. Doesn't mean there might not be room for improvement, of course, but then there always is.

    .
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    Which is true of most relationships in fiction, period. I think the OP's complaint was that where prominent same-sex relationships were concerned, the trauma in question seemed to tend disproportionately toward the demise of one of the partners. I'm not sure whether the statistics would really bear that out, though, or if there's a large enough sample set to distinguish a genuine trend from a random fluctuation.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    That's fair. But I also think that the idea that the trope of the "Dead Gay" or the violently-ended same-sex relationship is an unfortunately common trope found in fiction (often in the past employed because of a need to express disapproval of same-sex relationships -- The Children's Hour, for instance), and that as such writers should consider making a special attempt on some occasions to avoid such tropes, is also valid.

    In other words -- no malice intended, everyone believes in equality, but sometimes depictions unintentionally coincide with fiction tropes that were once used in an oppressive manner, and it's good to be aware of it and to avoid it at least some of the time for future reference. A minor criticism of something that's unintentional, not an accusation of any prejudice. :bolian:
     
  7. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    I think it was Lance Parkin who said that in the old Doctor Who NAs it became sort of mandatory to kill a gay character off in each book, because making a character gay made him instantly sympathetic to Doctor Who fans, and then you killed 'em off to prove the situation was serious.
     
  8. Bob Karo

    Bob Karo Captain Captain

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    So, Death By Newberry Medal kind of deal.
     
  9. JWolf

    JWolf Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    And onscreen we had Worf & Jadzia.
     
  10. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    Heh, I was not familiar with that trope name. Essentially, though it's more like a redshirt death where you want to make the redshirt sympathetic quickly.
     
  11. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    On the subject of a character being gay not defining them, if done well that's how it should be, but whenever I hear that, I expect that the character's sexuality will be ignored as much as possible and be gay in name only.
     
  12. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    Exactly. Like I say, it's saying the right thing, but at the same time it kind of rubs me the wrong way. But then if I complain I feel like I'll come across as one of those bitter old queens for whom nothing is ever good enough and no progress is ever politically correct enough, and I don't want to be that person either.
     
  13. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    But at the same time, what exactly is 'being gay' period, not just 'in name only'? The characters treat the fact that they're attracted to people of the same sex as just one piece of who they are and don't draw attention to it because they live in a world where it is unremarkable. What, are they supposed to shout over every subspace channel something like 'I'M A GAY MAN AND I HAVE A BIG GAY BOYFRIEND'? Or walk around in drag? What would they have to do to not be considered 'gay in name only'?
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    Have a same-sex relationship. Simple as that. Don't have it be something that's asserted or made speeches about, just present it as part of the character's life, in the same matter-of-fact way you'd present a heterosexual character's attractions or romantic involvements.

    In other words, do exactly what Trek Lit has been doing with gay/lesbian/bi characters for years already.
     
  15. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie


    I agree with Christoper entirely. That is what I would expect the mainstream viewpoint of homosexuality in the fictional 24th century of Star trek would be.
    By then they would know that a certain percentage of the human population would be born with homosexual tendencies, they would have no cultural stigma attached towards the expression of those tendencies, and they would be fully integrated into society.
    So if character A or B was a homosexual, any inclusion of their personal life would be rather blahh 'Character A went to his quarters and talked about the tachyon monsters devastation of the Hakkonian planet with Character B before kissing him goodnight and taking a sonic shower'

    Most of the normal "romantic" interactions in the novels would also be rather easy to adjust by simply changing the gender of personal pronouns.

    Now the hard part would be managing the expectations of the 21ST century audience. Some people would be uncomfortable with overt sexual activity between homosexual characters (although the Star Trek novels are pretty mild in the whole "sex scene" department). And others are very eager to see more homosexual characters as part of their general view that modern fiction should reflect a modern "tolerance" for homosexuality.

    My personal view is that the authors should use whatever character relationships that best fit the purpose of writing an engaging and entertaining story.

    When external pressure causes them to sacrifice a good story to fulfill some expectation, then all the fans suffer.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    There have been a couple of pretty overt lesbian scenes in Trek Lit to date. We see T'Prynn and Anna Sandesjo in bed together in Vanguard: Reap the Whirlwind, and there's a sex scene of sorts with Mirror Tasha and Keiko in "A Terrible Beauty" in Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows. I don't think there have been any male same-sex scenes yet, though.
     
  17. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    ^ One such encounter is alluded to in Sarah Shaw's short MU novel Saturn's Children. Intendant Kira overhears two men having sex in the bunk above hers. However, that incident might be described as non-consensual.
     
  18. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    I would say it was definitely non-consensual, as it was described and in keeping with the tendency in Saturn's Children for intimate contact being non-consensual and violent. (Oh, Kira/Bashir; why do I think Mirror Kira isn't one for safe words?)
     
  19. Novae

    Novae Ensign Newbie

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    While we're discussing LGBT sexuality, I'd love to see a take on it in the Andorian civilization. Since there are 4 sexes, quad mating isn't technically homosexual by their standards, though since 2 are seen as female and 2 as male, I can see the perception by others to be interesting. But what happens if there are same-sex attractions (either real, like zhen/zhen or perceived, like shen/zhen)? Are there "monosexual" Andorians that prefer only one or two of the sexes (including their own), rather than all of the others? If there was such an individual, how would they reconcile a pressure to reproduce to sustain the species with their attractions; would it be acceptable to act on them once children have been successfully produced in a bond and the individual is no longer needed as a fertile contributor? I liked the Shar/Prynn thing, but I would have also loved to see Shar with a male, for example. There are so many possibilities and I would love to see them.
     
  20. Andy Mangels

    Andy Mangels Writer Red Shirt

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    Re: Humanoid Sexuality in TrekLit (Minor Spoilers for VGD: Declassifie

    I think we touched a LOT on that in the Mission Gamma books, as I recall. And for the haters out there, the same-sex attractions among the Andorians were not my idea (although I wrote some of it) but Heather Jarman's, who is a Mormon Sunday School teacher.