LGBT Characters in Trek (Help and no flames Please)

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

  1. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, how's about them gays in Star Trek, eh?

    *crickets*

    *tumbleweed*

    On the topic of fan-fiction, I've done a spot of my own as my sig says. It is NOT slashy in even the vaguest sense. I think there's even so much as a hint of a sex scene in any of the 22 episodes. Nevertheless, I have designated two established TrekLit characters as gay and in a relationship.

    In neither case was it established prior in the Lit that they were gay, but neither was it established that they were straight. So that left me free to define their relationships however I chose. And I'm quite gratified that later books mentioning the two characters have done nothing to contradict my choices, which leaves me free to believe they are in a relationship in the books, just 'off screen'.

    I have no problem with saying an existing character might be gay. Characters shouldn't necessarily be assumed to be straight by default. And in this case, I'm not 'changing the character' or making them act out of character because nothing addressed that side of the character in the first place. In fact, in one case I'm actually taking a tiny off-hand reference in the official Lit canon and extrapolating it. If it worked for the Andorians, it can work for me.

    .
     
  2. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Moderator

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    Thank you, Christopher.

    Back to the Trek Lit please. Discussions of marriage can go in Miscellaneous, heated discussion of marriage can go in TNZ.
     
  3. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    It was called "Queer as Folk" and there was a brit version followed by an American version.
     
  4. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan "Down with this sort of thing!" Premium Member

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    Wow, that's a blast from the past, he hasn't posted in here in quiet sometime.
     
  5. chrinFinity

    chrinFinity Captain Captain

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    I also bring beloved relatives back from the dead and repair popped balloons.

    Sorry.
     
  6. BrentMc

    BrentMc Commander Red Shirt

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    I am sad that you feel you need to ask not be flamed. I think a Star Trek message board should be a place everyone feels welcome. If someone flames you for being who you are then they missed one of the primary points of Star Trek. The hope of a future where the Human race has outgrown racism, sexism, and Homophobia. (Even though there were contradictions like the scantily clad women who contradicted the image of a powerful, proud, capable, intelligent African woman being Chief Communications officer.)

    Furthermore; without gay people we wouldn't have the Original Mr. Sulu: George Takei.

    We wouldn't have the new Mr. Spock: Zachary Quinto.

    We wouldn't have Dr. Sheldon Cooper: Jim Parson's. (How is he related you ask? How about "Rock paper scissors lizard Spock?)

    Welcome LGBT friends and Live Long and Prosper :-)
     
  7. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    It's veering OT a little bit, but I do find it hard to justify the mini dresses and go go boots as a military uniform. That especially was driven home to me years ago when I saw a drawing of a Vulcan female officer in the traditional mini dress and go go boots in a Trek RPG book. I could almost see human military officers wearing such impractical clothes at work, as humans will do strange things, but a Vulcan woman? It's hard to imagine that. TNG's pilot episode interestingly enough featured the mini skirt on a few men and women, making it an optional uniform for both genders, but it was quickly dropped. I had a friend who was a massive Trekkie but had somehow never noticed the guy in the mini skirt. He did suggest that was proof of a gay character on tv Trek.
    On a similar subject, the body/gender switch ep in TOS, which was based around female officers not being allowed to captain a ship, that continues to be very jarring. Have any of the books ever touched on that subject, or contradicted it? I'm pretty sure we see female captains in TOS follow up movies, maybe as early as TMP. I'd be interested to see a book do something with that, explain why that aspect of sexism survived to the 23rd century. If I remember correctly, wasn't there a female captain in Enterprise? I'm pretty sure she's in the novels at least, but I think it's both. Have we seen a female captain in the JJ movies?I have a terrible memory.
    I'm glad to see this thread returning to a more friendly tone. As a gay Trekkie this thread is the only true safe space for being both gay and a Trekkie that I'm aware of, and I hate how the issue of "teh gay" having to be debated instead of accepted as a natural and equal variation of being human.
     
  8. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    We did have Captain Erica Hernandez in the last season of Enterprise, the Enterprise Relaunch novels, and Destiny.
    We had two female Captains in Vanguard, which takes place concurrently with TOS.
    Captain Hallie Gannon of the USS Bomaby, and Captain Atish Khatami of the USS Endevour. The Endevour will be one of two featured ships in the new Vanguard spin-off series, Seekers.
     
  9. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you. Yes, Erika Hernandez, that's who I was thinking of.
    That's the way it should be. I'm assuming there's not discussion on why there are female captains now though. I think it would be pretty challenging to justify why there ever weren't.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That makes no more sense than assuming a woman who wears pants is a lesbian. For one thing, it's only a cultural convention what gender is associated with a given type of clothing and conventions can change over time. The skant uniforms were meant to be unisex. If pants can be unisex, why can't skirtlike garments? Is it truly unisex if it doesn't go both ways?

    For another thing, being gay is about who you sleep with/love, not what you wear. I gather that most transvestite men are heterosexual.


    Fortunately the line in "Turnabout Intruder" about how "your world of starship captains doesn't admit women" is ambiguous enough that it allows for multiple readings. The preferred reading is that Janice Lester was a paranoid schizophrenic who held the delusional belief that she was rejected as a command candidate because of her sex rather than because she was unstable and incompetent.

    So there's no need to "explain" an illogical assertion from a badly written episode when it can be so easily dismissed. The speaker was an unreliable narrator -- it's as simple as that.

    I believe the first canonical depiction of a female Starfleet captain was Madge Sinclair's Saratoga captain in The Voyage Home. Although Saavik's presence in the command chair in the Kobayashi Maru simulation in The Wrath of Khan clearly implies that she was training for an eventual captaincy.


    Yes, ENT did feature Captain Erika Hernandez, commander of NX-02 Columbia, the second Warp 5 starship. Not to mention T'Pol being captain in an alternate timeline or two.


    We've seen at least one female admiral, Gretchen Lui, who was at Kirk's Academy hearing in the first movie.
     
  11. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, I agree. My friend was pretty narrow minded about a lot of things, and had a pretty conventional and old fashioned attitude towards gender expression and sexuality. I didn't agree with him at all.
    It's been a couple of years since I've seen that ep, but I think I recall Kirk responding to Lester's discussion, and his responses backing up her claims about there being a gender restriction to captaincy.
    I'm not at all sure if that would work in real life, but is it possible that a woman could hold the rank of captain without actually having a ship of her own, or is that not an option?
    I'd be happy to dismiss Lester's assertion that women can't be captains as being her view on her being passed over, but that other women were captains. I'm just not sure I think the episode really leaves that much wiggle room or not. I'll have to give that some thought when I get around to watching it again. If Kirk doesn't actually agree with her then it works. I've never been comfortable with their being that much sexism in the 23rd century.
    I'll also keep an eye out for female captains in the movies. I thought they were in there sooner than TVH, but I could be wrong. Great point about Saavik in the training simulation.
     
  12. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My chosen interpretation was neither of those, but rather that she was talking specifically about Kirk's world of starship captains - to wit, that being a starship captain precluded for him the possibility of letting a woman into his life. I don't know how that fits in with the rest of the episode, though. I'm not that familiar with TOS.

    Either way, as Christopher says, there's no reason to give that one line any credence whatsoever, not when it's massively outweighed by endless numbers of other references that contradict it, and it was spoken by a madwoman.


    Absolutely it is. Phillipa Louvois from "The Measure of a Man" was a captain within the JAG department. "Captain" the rank and "captain" the position are not necessarily synonymous, even though they often intersect. Seen in the opposite direction when Dax was the captain of the Defiant in "Favour the Bold" even though she was only of LtCmdr rank.

    As another attempt to bring it back to topic, I don't recall there ever being an LGBT Starfleet captain to my knowledge, but then I haven't read every book ever. Of course in many cases there's no reason to go into a captain's personal life when they're not a focus character, so we may have seen plenty and just not known it.

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  13. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    That's true, I can't recall an LGBT captain either. I'd like to see that, but I'm still pretty happy with the LGBT engineers, science and medical officers, etc we have seen. Always room for more though.
    Another side topic, I'm just getting into collecting the IDW Trek trades. Has their been any LGBT characters in those? I know there's a New Frontier book, so there's Burgy and Selar at least.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, that was the intent of the script, but we're allowed to ignore it. Star Trek is fiction, not a documentary, so we don't have to treat every last detail as inviolable gospel. Sometimes something that's asserted in one episode is ignored or retconned later on because it was clearly a mistake or a bad idea. For instance, "The Alternative Factor" portrayed antimatter and dilithium in a way that contradicted what had already been established in the show, and so the rest of canon has consistently ignored it. And TNG, DS9, and VGR all ignored what "The Magicks of Megas-tu" and The Final Frontier asserted about the ease of travel to the center of the galaxy, instead consistently asserting that journeys of such length would take decades at normal warp speeds.

    So ST has often ignored its past mistakes, and "Turnabout Intruder"'s sexist implications have been consistently ignored and contradicted by the rest of canon for decades, and rightly so. I see no reason to reverse that policy now.



    As mentioned way back on the first page or two of this thread, that very same female Saratoga captain from TVH was established in the Crucible trilogy as having a wife (and was given the name Margaret Sinclair-Alexander, based on the name of her portrayer, Madge Sinclair).
     
  15. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah yes of course, sorry, I remember that now. Didn't she also go on to be CinC of all of Starfleet too, or something? Which is pretty much as high up as you can go.
     
  16. Markonian

    Markonian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In The Sorrows of Empire, Commander Takashewada states that the Sato dynasty ruled that no females can be captain. Takashewada becomes the first woman captain in more than a century thanks to a promotion by Spock.