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

    Having seen how the industry went apeshit over the "reveal" that Rawhide Kid was gay, I have to note that I expect the same would happen if that were to happen in Trek.

    In other words, it's "perfectly OK" for a gay character to experiment or be attracted to the opposite sex but if Scotty or Chekov or Vaughn were to have a fling with the "one man they were attracted to" the feces would hit the nacelles.

    And no, Trill's don't factor into that. Nor, generally do women experimenting with women, as that's written - generally - for pure titillation.

    In real-life, that's part of why they cast only women in the TNG episode "The Outcast," despite cast members pushing for male actors to be cast (well, that combined with Rick Berman's "rumored" homophobia, and the times in which it was written).
     
  2. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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

    I'm heterosexual but I've always accepted people regardless of sexuality. Sexuality doesn't matter to me, I don't form an opinion about somebody and we live in a day and age where people of a non-heterosexual orientation should not have to face persecution.

    I don't think it really matters what sexuality a character in Star Trek is. Granted, there was a lot lacking from previous live action productions where sexual diversity is concerned (only a couple of episodes of DS9). Within the universe though, it shouldn't matter. I think it would be great to have a female character who is asked by another character how Alex (or another gender neutral name) is getting on? Eventually we would see Alex and no one except the viewer would find this surprising. That is how I see sexual diversity in Star Trek, as something that doesn't matter at all and is just as normal to the characters as transporters.

    I think defining any character by their sexuality in a setting where equality is fundamental, would be wrong. I appreciate that many gay/bisexual men and women see their sexuality as a defining point. But does being defined as gay or bisexual really matter in a completely equal society?
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    Right. To paraphrase David Gerrold, terms like that describe people rather than defining them. What defines a person is the whole constellation of traits that makes him or her a unique individual. A single trait like orientation, sex, race, religion, or whatever is not their entire identity, just one ingredient in it. If one person only likes to sleep with her own sex and another generally sleeps with his own sex but has had one or two flings with the opposite one, that wouldn't matter any more than if one person refused to eat red meat while another generally avoided it but indulged in it on infrequent occasions. It's just individual variation, and it should be expected that individuals vary.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Commander Red Shirt

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

    Very good points. I've never been a big fan of people defining themselves by their sexual orientation. Whom I choose to love and have sex with doesn't define me as a person. If you must know, I'm a gay man, but that's certainly not the first thing I would mention if I was talking about who I am as an individual. Being gay is a part of me, but certainly not the only, nor the biggest, part. I think that a future character in Star Trek should be in a gay relationship, but with no focus placed on the 'gayness' of it. Just have it be a relationship like any other, with out trying to implant some message.
     
  5. Xander

    Xander Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    "rumored" homophobia you meant that as a joke right Andy?:lol:
     
  6. Andy Mangels

    Andy Mangels Writer Red Shirt

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


    Hence the quotes. :devil:
     
  7. Xander

    Xander Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    cool Andy:cool: ps you are probably my favorite star trek author Andy im a big fan!:techman:

    by the way Andy i hope you come back to trek lit soon
     
  8. Andy Mangels

    Andy Mangels Writer Red Shirt

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

    Well, that last will be a discussion for when we get there. 50 or so years from now.

    As it is, in writing Trek fiction, we were not able to HAVE that question come up because homophobia was "fait accompli" a thing of the past, per editorial edict. Mike and I were going to tell a story about Klingon homophobia in a Marvel DS9 mini-series that was plotted when the line got killed, but we were told that such concerns were not important in the novels as the future world had eradicated that.

    Back to today.

    A "defining point" for homosexuality IS who they choose to love. In the world we live in, an IMMENSE amount of attention is paid to who thinks who is cute/hot, who is dating whom, who is engaged to whom, who is getting married, who is getting divorced. And that's just love. When you factor SEX into the equation, even more attention is paid.

    Straight people identify themselves as straight probably 500% more EVERY day than I identify myself as gay. If I filmed your average straight adult male and/or adult female for 24 hours and we saw how many references they made to their husbands/wives/girlfriends/boyfriends/conquests/potential conquests/cute guys/hot girls in a public socially-acceptable manner, and compared it to the same adult gay male or female, I GUARANTEE you that the incidents of "hetero identification" would be sky high in comparison.

    Hetero folk just don't see it. But it's as simple as the ring on your hand or the family picture on your desk. And that's not even factoring the thousands of other things - legal or cultural - that make hetero identification something that those who truly want equal rights for all will understand needs to be matched.
     
  9. Xander

    Xander Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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

    HERE HERE Andy when we actually GET to that point then it won't be an issue anymore, but society is not there yet.

    perfect example i am currently engaged to my boyfriend of almost 4 years but here in Australia i am not allowed to legally marry him, so our relationship dose not get the same legal recognition and respect that my straight friends relationships get.
     
  10. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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

    That's why preparation is so important... ;)


    But, I think you are spot on here.
     
  11. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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

    Some of us who wear rings and so on are simply identifying as monogamous and proud of it - I'm sure that married gay couples can wear wedding rings and refer to their spouses...
     
  12. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    .
    While I absolutely agree with you, an argument could be made (a flawed one for sure) that they are connected, by the fact that...
    It was a man's mind inhabiting her female body. Maybe the effect of having a male psyche running around in her head did result in her being attracted to women.
    Not saying I agree with that in the slightest, only that I could see someone else trying to make that argument.


    We've always been here. These issues have been hashed over again and again - just read back over the boards.

    But for the record, I'm with Christopher in that I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

    I understand where you're coming from, believe me. Having worked in the porn industry, I have seen more than my fair share of hysterical freakery erupt when a person makes the decision to cross the line, even just once. But that's not applicable to a Star Trek situation, where the whole point is that it's not an issue but an entirely neutral fact.


    Yep, seen plenty of this too. It's pretty much expected that women will have sex with women because it titillates straight men, but put two men together and the internet implodes. And god help bisexual men who try to make a career in both sides of the industry. The recent "Porn WikiLeaks" scandal demonstrated just how much hatred there is for gay and bi men even within an industry you'd think was fairly open about sexuality.

    All of which is probably completely inappropriate for a Star Trek board. But hey, you write what you know.


    I wouldn't call Rick Berman homophobic in the "hate" sense, as in "I hate all gays and they are the root of all evil and they should all be killed." But I do think there might be a case to be made that he was homophobic in the "doesn't understand" sense. As in, "I have no idea how to write about gay people, and I'm afraid of screwing it up, and it's all just a bit icky anyway, so I'll just push it over there in the corner and pretend it doesn't exist."


    Among humans, certainly, and presumably among all other Federation races too, or else they wouldn't be in the Federation. But surely there's an opportunity to address the issue with non-Federation races who have different cultures and moral values - after all, that's the entire point of there being aliens in Star Trek at all.

    On the other hand, you did have a lesbian Klingon in Taking Wing (and I just have to point this out again because I love it and it makes me laugh every time - she was on board a ship called the Vaj). And I'm sure I remember a mention of a Klingon male having a husband somewhere. In both cases I got the impression it was fairly rare but the individual was still respected as a warrior.

    I recently mused in another thread on the Ferengi attitude to sexuality. We know they don't like women in the workplace (or at least they didn't), but how do they feel about gay men? Would it be irrelevant, because at least they're men? Quark is happy to objectify women as brainless sex objects, but how does he feel about men selling their bodies? Does he think it's beneath them? The only tiny moment we have regarding homosexuality in Ferengi is from "Rules of Acquisition," where Pel kissed Quark while he still thought she was a man. He was shocked, sure, but he didn't seem to reveal any fundamental homophobia.

    .
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^I was going to say "I think a society that defines gender roles as rigidly as the Ferengi would be unlikely to accept alternative sexual orientations." But then I remembered Classical Greece. They were a ferociously misogynistic society, and one consequence of that was that they considered the only legitimate love to be between two men, or ideally a man and an adolescent boy. So they had rigidly delineated gender roles and institutionalized acceptance of homosexuality (at least in the context of a specific kind of relationship, one that arguably feminizes the junior partner).
     
  14. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    And they'd be absolutely wrong, because after T'Prynn was cured of her affliction, she declared unequivocally to Tim Pennington in Precipice, "My sexual preference is for women." And the reason she rejected her arranged marriage to Sten as a youth is that she was gay. Also, in the recent Declassified anthology, it was shown in Dayton Ward's "prequel" novella "Almost Tomorrow" that T'Prynn's attraction to Anna was her own.
     
  15. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    I probably overlooked it, but I didn't remember that being made explicit in the novels. I always assumed she made the challenge because she could tell Sten was an evil bastard even before he invaded her as he died, and didn't want anything to do with him. I sort of imagine that if a homosexual Vulcan had an arranged heterosexual marriage and could get along at all with the other person, they'd just lie back and think of the Plains of Gol every seven years, and satisfy themselves with discreet extramarital relationships in the meantime.

    Given how deeply Vulcan has institutionalized repression and personal privacy, it almost seems stranger that someone there would be true to themselves rather than just keeping up appearances while disregarding the intended sanctity of the bond.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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

    ^I don't think they'd see any need to keep the extramarital relations secret or worry about "sanctity." The marriage bond, to Vulcans, is presumably about procreation and the economic and sociopolitical advantages of joining two families (which, historically, was what marriage was about for humans up until a few centuries ago when the idea that it had anything to do with love was introduced). Since a same-sex relationship has no procreative relevance, I don't see Vulcans seeing it as being in any way threatening to a marriage alliance. They'd probably see it as a logical way of balancing personal needs with the benefits and responsibilities of the marriage.

    Then again, if Vulcans really were logical about marriage, they wouldn't have kept this barbaric fight-to-the-death ritual 2000 years after they supposedly embraced peace.
     
  17. Brikar99

    Brikar99 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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

    And deny us the most awesome fight music ever recorded? Not logical.
     
  18. David Mack

    David Mack Writer Commodore

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

    It's called subtext, and it's an entirely logical (pardon the expression) interpolation based upon the text of Vanguard books one, three, and five. It's also being expressly stated here by me as my intent in the depiction of the character and the events of her life.
     
  19. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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

    If I remember correctly, Dr Selar's brother was homosexual. I also recall their father disapproving of his son's sexuality, but only because he felt sex without reproduction was illogical.
     
  20. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    First, ouch. The "overlooked" bit was more a concession to the fact that, as I mentioned up-thread, I'd completely forgotten what an "Aole Miller" was and was briefly confused when he was brought up in "Ruins" like he was someone I knew. Side effect of not revisiting the books after the first read yet. I didn't mean to give the impression that I was criticizing the books for not spelling it out, but rather that they may well have, and it had just slipped my mind in the meantime.

    I get that, and I don't disagree that it makes sense or anything like that, I was just saying that, to me, there were much more overt reasons for T'Prynn to scorn Sten than disagreement over the suitability of his bits. That just makes the whole thing even more tragic than it was when I assumed T'Prynn actively disliked him before the fight, like she's more of a victim.