LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by neogothboy74, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That Bitch!!! ;)

    Just kidding... probably for the best that something like that not happen in a committed relationship. Though a fella can dream.
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    It was called Big Love, and it just finished its 5-season run on HBO in March.

    Well. Not every straight man's fantasy. The girl I'm with is bisexual, and I never, ever want to share her. Not even with another beautiful woman.
     
  3. LightningStorm

    LightningStorm The Borg King Commodore

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    And "The G Word" was called Queer as Folk and it came before The L Word in 1999 in the UK and the US version in 2000.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  4. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    i don't share. Plus, three+ in a bed is way more work than I'm willing to do. Sorry. one partner is the limit.

    Now, now. stop the tears, ladies (and some of you gents). plenty more fish and all that.

    As for polygamy, it doesn't fall into the same category as race or gender "preference." Western society put polygamy down centuries ago and, barring accident, I don't see it catching fire again. For one thing, most people don't have enough free time for all that. The divorce rate is roughly equal to the traditional marriage rate so, if anything, I think we'll have less of it rather than more and more complex.

    in any case, it is a choice, not a state of being and thus perfectly fine for society to dismiss. I'm not saying I personally dismiss it (i'm frankly indifferent to the practice; people can do what they like so long as no one gets hurt physically.) but it's not the same thing as the others.

    you could show it with a human "going native" in some other culture where polyamory is the norm but I think, as a species, we've trended away from polygamy for long enough that it's sort of a done deal.
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    Geoff, pretty much everything you say in these three paragraphs is 100% totally wrong, and pretty damned offensive to the good-sized polyamorous community out there.

    Just sayin'.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Staying away from the polyamory debate...

    This reminds me of a quote from Coupling:

    "Steve, sex with two entire women! Think of the advantages. They can't both fall asleep!"
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  7. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Really? I'm just stating facts.

    Polyamory is a choice, not a state of being.

    Western Society has been done with polygamy for a looooooong time, including its last diehard supporter, the Church of Latter Day Saints.

    Even Islam, which condones multiple wives (though not multiple husbands, sadly) does not sport a massive population of polygamous families. Why? Because most can't afford to do it, even should they wish to. And, I personally believe, most human beings aren't wired for it. Certainly no modern Western societies are.

    The divorce/marriage ratio (traditional) in the USA (and I presume most of the West) is roughly 50/50, meaning that the concept itself is under fire from multiple fronts, not the least of which is educated women not feeling it's necessary to enter into the contract or stay in an ugly marriage once they see what's what. That's fairly recent in the history of marriage. Pretty new. Educating and empowering women leads to fewer unwanted babies and fewer [long-term] unhappy marriages.

    Does it work for some? Sure. And god bless them. But that population is not nearly big enough to be considered a biological state of being. If it's a choice, and it is, it falls under the heading of an "ism," A philosophical view that can be accepted or rejected by the society at large. That's something we do all the time. We used to dig slavery, after all. And we used to hate science (too many of us still do). Human sacrifice anybody?

    Personally, I don't care, one way or the other, as I said. I'm a live-and-let-live sort. But I also don't care if facts offend people. Facts are facts.
     
  8. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Just because it's a choice, doesn't mean that people shouldn't be free to make that choice. It doesn't hurt anyone as they're all consenting adults. I think people in ST are more open minded and accepting of diversity than we are currently, so there would be no stigma on polygamy/polyamoury.
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  10. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think, and didn't say, there was or would be a stigma. I said that humanity has been trending away from polygamy for centuries now and it doesn't seem likely the trend would go the other way. To me, in a universe of unbelievable occurrences, a multi-spoused human from Earth would be too much. It just makes no sense, to me, to "explore" that in that way when there are an infinite number of potential alien societies that would be better suited.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Trends" aren't universal. There are always going to be exceptions to any trend. With a human population that's already nearing 7 billion, even an extremely rare behavior is still going to have a fair number of people practicing it. And in Trek's future, the human population will multiply greatly, so that even if the percentage of polyamorists continues to decline (it's always naive to assume that any current trend is bound to continue like some simplistic mathematical curve, but just for the sake of argument), the total number of them might remain substantial.

    Not to mention that Trek's humanity will be spreading across multiple planets, allowing multiple opportunities for atypical behavior patterns to resurge. Polyamory has definite advantages to the members of a young, small colonial population (cf. "Up the Long Ladder"). And a lot of colonies would be founded specifically by groups that practiced fringe behaviors that had grown scarce in mainstream humanity (again, "Long Ladder" is an example, as are "The Masterpiece Society," "Journey's End," and various colonies in Trek Lit). So even if you were correct about the trend remaining consistent on Earth, you can't rule out the possibility of polyamory resurging in other human populations elsewhere.
     
  12. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Polygamy is still stigmatized today, just look at the documentary Sister Wives about polygamists that told the world about themselves. According to the law he's done something wrong except that in his own words he said he only legally married one wife, he is merely joined to the others within his church. The law should repeal polygamy because there's nothing inherently illegal about it. No one is being harmed in any sense of the word, they're not cultists, and yet they are hounded to the point where they feel they have to move.

    Polygamy (matriarchal or patriarchal) is just as valid a spousal relationship as monogamy; just as homosexual relationships are just as valid as spousal relationships as heterosexual relationships. The problem is that laws which affect the so-called definition of a family (man, woman, children) are based in ancient religious doctrine which should not be in place today. Law should not be able to dictate the gender of the person/the number of people you want to spend the rest of your life with and until that time passes, there will be stigmas attached to those that are "different."

    I want to live in the idealized Star Trek paradise where you can be with who or whatever you want to be with without anyone being prejudiced against you.
     
  13. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't rule it out. I just don't think it has any particular value as theme to pursue. Other writers are more than welcome to pursue it and I'll likely read those stories of they're by writers I enjoy. I don't actually care. It's inconsequential to me.

    However: to say the existing systems of polygamy "hurt no one" is, I think, at best, naive. Women and girls are hurt daily by this practice as it serves patriarchy and reduces them to second-class citizens, at best, in their own homes. The "stigma" is deserved and that is the reason it's illegal. MEN abuse it and always have. The more equality you create amongs the genders, the fewer polygamous marriages will occur. How do we know? 100% of our history says so.

    In the Star Trek future (as opposed to an hard scifi future) humans are, for the most part, all equal. The few times we've seen serious modification of human behavior, it was played as an extreme oddity. I think a vast multi-planetary diaspora would not lead to poly anything under most circumstances but rather to termed marriages that would, by contract, be renewed by both parties once the term was up.

    Or, y'know, no marriage whatsoever. People would be with and breed with anyone they wished in whatever combination.

    "Polyamory" to me, describes my adolescence as, I imagine, it does for most. In any case, in any discussion of biological discrimination (skin color, ethnic, sexual "preference") philosophical discrimination doesn't get a seat at the table. It's not the same thing. All ideas must compete for a place. If they don't get it, they lose.

    How many nihilists are there? Not too many. Anarchists? Nope.

    There aren't even a lot of libertarians. The ideas just won't stick, culturally. That's why I said, "barring accident." It would take MASSIVE transformation of the human population, one we've never seen evidenced in any of the Star Trek lit or canon material to account for this shift in our cultural behavior.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Again, why do you keep framing this as if we're talking about mainstream/majority views? The whole point of Trek-style inclusion is that one doesn't dismiss the value of minority viewpoints, but respects their right to exist. Was it wrong for TNG to include Data because there was only one sentient android in the Federation rather than a whole massive population of them? Was it wrong for TOS to focus on the rarity of a human-Vulcan hybrid? Since when were fictional characters expected to represent the ordinary and the mainstream? If anything, fictional characters disproportionately tend to be outside the norm, even unique.
     
  15. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The things you're citing are, very clearly, proxies used to illuminate or educate something in the audience about their own hypocricies and ignorances vis a vis the Western ideals of inclusion we're all supposed to share but which, often, are not practiced. Homosexuals, foreigners, ethnic minorities, the handicapped, all these are involuntary aspects of the human condition for which people have been targeted and oppressed unfairly. Data is both a foreigner (to every organic life form) and disabled in that he cannot do one of the primary things his creator intended, i.e. feel emotions. How he deals with that struggle is the source of illuminating drama.

    Star Trek was never and is not meant to be a wholesale embrace of ANY philosophy or philosophical tradition simply because that group or tradition is in the minority. It actually has a fairly specific POV.

    Some notions are in the minority because they are fundamentally flawed and, after centuries of vetting, have been proven so. I'm not saying polygamy falls into that category but neither am I seeing much in the practice worth examining in the context of Star Trek.

    To me such an exam would be a waste of time. Others differ. Such is life. We don't actually all have to agree on every point. For me this is a non-issue. Worthy of some attention here, sure, but nowhere near as valuable as the discussion that gave this thread its title.
     
  16. Idran

    Idran Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why do you keep thinking that when people are talking about polyamoury, they're exclusively talking about one man with multiple wives? Whether or not I accepted this claim, you're ignoring relationships with one woman with multiple husbands, or a shared relationship with multiple members of either gender.
     
  17. Geoff Thorne

    Geoff Thorne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    most common and most prevalent example of the phenomenon and therefore the most likely to keep hold in the human population if it were to go on into our future. and, again, we're in this conversation because that's where the drift led us but I don't actually care, one way or the other, about this. it's strictly an intellectual exercise.
     
  18. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you want to learn how polygamy is actually practiced in fundamentalist Mormon communities in the US and Canada, google a few things: Bountiful. Warren Jeffs. Lost boys. Sister Wives is a whitewash of a system that transports girls below the age of consent across borders to marry middle-aged men and exiles young men from communities because they're unwanted competition for women.

    There may well be people who can make multiple partnerships of consenting adults work just fine. (Heck, I knew a guy who was part of a gay threesome who stayed together for well over a decade before breaking up.) The problem is that in practice it's very often not about consenting adults.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Sorry, but that sounds like damning homosexuality in general because of the actions of pedophiles and prison rapists. Just because a practice is sometimes corrupted, that doesn't mean it's invariably corrupt. It's a logical fallacy to equate the specific with the universal.
     
  20. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think anyone's suggesting that in the Federation there would be a system where underaged girls are married to middle aged men against their will. But consenting adults forming relationships in groups of three or more, seems perfectly reasonable as an option.