Star Trek and Homosexuality

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by jpch, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I don't remember any official word that Malcolm Reed was supposed to be gay. Fans certainly speculated that he was, and I think Dominic Keating even jokingly suggested it in a few interviews. But no official word that I can recall.
     
  2. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh jeez. You know how you write a gay character on Star Trek? You write a straight character and merely flip the gender of whom they're attracted to. That. Is. It.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    An accurate depiction of a real gay person.

    If gays are a ostracized segment of the over all Federation society it's unlikely we would be seeing them in Starfleet, certainly not openly. That last being a variation of the "they're there, we just don't see them."

    :)
     
  4. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    l don't know if Trek will really ever show or address the concept.

    Trek seems to have a certain reservation with showing direct homosexuality.

    You can find some surprising hidden messages in some episodes.

    Like the TNG one where Beverly finds out that her Trill lover's new host body is a female.

    Before she smiled when Worf told her the host had arrived. Then she frowned when she saw it was female.

    She obviously wasn't into women, which was her right-too bad Trek never explored differences in preferences in the 24th century to explain her reaction.
     
  5. Seven's Alcove

    Seven's Alcove Ensign Newbie

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    I remember two stories of Whoopi Goldberg having, or at least trying to have, an impact on the presence of gays on Star Trek.

    The first was during a scene in Ten Forward she asked two male extras to hold hands at a table, just as something to be seen in the background if you were looking for it. Unfortunately, someone higher up freaked out and had them not do it.

    The second was in a scene where I believe Data is asking Guinan about love or mating or something along those lines. Whoopi's line was, "When a man and a woman fall in love" but she changed the line to, "When two people fall in love".

    It really is amazing that there wasn't a single gay character in 25 seasons of modern Trek. Not one. For such a forward thinking franchise it's a shame they were afraid to go somewhere that other shows had already gone to, safely, at the time.
     
  6. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's not difficult at all, all you have to do is take a script, pick a random guest star who mentions his wife and replace the word "wife" with "husband".
    Don't try to make a "gay episode" and doing them justice or you end up with David Gerrold's Blood and Fire which was written for TNG and filmed for the TOS fan series. The gay part of Blood and Fire was almost offensively bad, they have a gay couple and one of them kills himself because of Space AIDS.:wtf:

    I'm sure the episode was rejected for TNG not because of the gay couple (if that was a problem they could have made them a straight couple) but because it was stupid.
    The couple served no purpose other than showing the audience that gay people have feelings too "See, they're kissing and are happy, now one of them is dead and the other one is really devastated and angry but in the end he gets better!". Well, thank you David Gerrold, you totally showed the audience that gay couples are regular people, who would have thought?! Too bad you didn't treat them like regular people but made them the centerpiece of your AIDS allegory and death drama instead.

    Star Trek was never a forward thinking franchise. There was a lot of talk within the show how awesome and liberal they are, but as a real world franchise it was always really conservative.
     
  7. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    This idea seems thoroughly incompatible with the idea of the Federation as presented to us.
     
  8. TrekTot

    TrekTot Ensign Newbie

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    I am way new and was browsing the forums BUT this topic really hit me. It was a couple of days ago that I watched DS9 Rejoined in which Dax reunites with her previous wife Lenara. The politics surrounding the forbidden love in this ep are reminiscent of perhaps a deliberate attempt to address this issue. However, I would not know but the content of this specific show addresses policies in culture and visually gives the audience a same sex couple. In any case, I could be reading too far into the matter but it is something that I had always wondered too AND hopefully it will be addressed in the future!

    thanks for letting me chime in!
     
  9. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    I think Trek has always worked well with analogy (so they didn't portray racism against blacks in TOS, they portrayed two races that were half-white and half-black on opposite sides to illustrate the stupidity of racism), and that is what they did (successfully, to my mind) with 'The Host' and 'Rejoined'. They couldn't address the issue directly, so they used metaphor.

    But the problem is that you see black men in Star Trek being treated exactly the same as their white colleagues- there is demonstrable, on the ground evidence that in the 24th century, race simply isn't an issue. It doesn't need to be put into metaphor because it's right there in front of you. I think gay characters need this sort of exposure in Trek- they don't need episodes about how they are gay, they just need to be gay and for everyone to be okay with it.
     
  10. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    Bakula should have been the first gay Captain, now that I think about it.
     
  11. Joel_Kirk

    Joel_Kirk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Well, I wouldn't say "exactly," since I believe there are various aspects of the franchise where that doesn't always ring true. Moreover, there are other men of color: Asian men, non-white Hispanic/Latino men, or Native American men who can be be looked at (since race is more than the "black" and "white" binary) in terms of how they are depicted in contrast to the white male characters, but I do get your point in the hypothetical attempt to show gay couples as normal as any other heterosexual couple.

    As someone brought out, maybe the tentative 2013 sequel will have such a couple.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  12. TrekTot

    TrekTot Ensign Newbie

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    @ Destructor : Word on Bakula. I totally agree with your comment on ST use of metaphors and also the idea to not specifically address the issue but for instance giving Bashir a male partner instead.
     
  13. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which parallel universe are you living in!?

    I think Trek made allegorical stories relating to homosexuality but they've never just featured a character whose only interested in the opposite sex romantically, that's all it needs.
     
  14. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    I'll address both of these together. The primary reason why it's difficult to write for a gay character is because it is a precarious balance. You have to do justice to the character, mollify the suits who make the decisions from on high, and convey it to the audience in a way that is not ham handed.

    For someone like me, it's easy to write a gay character. However, the process doesn't end with me. It has to go over well with the head writer, and the director, and all of the people involved in making the decisions for each episode.

    Any one of those steps can kill off that character. I have no doubt that there were writers pushing good ideas, but those ideas were snuffed out before they ever made it past the primary stages. That's mainly due to issues with the suits and the audience. Only recently has it been acceptable to write gay characters that weren't lampooning gay people in general.

    Over time, there will be gay characters. Like I said earlier, I believe the next series will likely have a gay character. It's the audience that ultimately makes that decision, and I think audiences are ready, their prejudices are changing. Write a gay Will Riker type character and you'd see the moral majority come out in force. Is it a double standard? You bet your ass. Still, that, too, is changing.

    We still have a long way to go in TV land, though. Look how long it took women to get fairly represented, and there are billions of them! Writing a gay character and seeing him or her actually come into existence on Star Trek is something I've wanted to see for a long time. Maybe, finally, we'll see it happen. Studios are starting to see that gay people make up a large chunk of their viewing audience, and that can only lead to better representation in shows and movies. I just want it tastefully done by someone who knows what they're doing. I'd rather it be done right than half assed and some moron fuck it up for everyone else.
     
  15. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That would have made him at least one interesting character trait.
     
  16. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But it's funny how there have been many contemporary tv shows before and during Trek (TNG) that showed open homosexuality in a normal context and openly acknowledged its existence.

    Trek is set many years in the future and the concept of homosexuality is noticed by its very absence.

    Perhaps because it's not an issue anymore in the 24TH century as pointed out already.

    The truth is, I think Trek considers "The Outcast" its contribution towards the subject.

    Spartacus is a popular cable tv show that shows homosexual relationships- not all the time, yet it is a rating blockbuster. As far as I know, there has been no issue or complaints about the content.

    And it's pretty graphic with the violence sex and language.
     
  17. asp7485

    asp7485 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Also, during "In Theory", Riker uses "two people" when he's giving Data advice. I always appreciated that.
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    And for that matter, Kirk says something similar in "Balance of Terror:" "Since the days of the first wooden vessels, all shipmasters have had one happy privilege: that of uniting two people in the bonds of matrimony."
     
  19. jpch

    jpch Commander Red Shirt

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    nooo he was too hunky keep him straight XD:p
     
  20. jpch

    jpch Commander Red Shirt

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    exactly totally agree:bolian: so many fans speculated Janeway/Seven or Kirk/Spock in fanfic based on episodes and a few scenes...but they were not intended that way of course.
     

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