Star Trek Needs a Gay Character and Here’s How to Do It

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies XI+' started by Shaka Zulu, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Same here. IF there's to be a gay character in the next film, have a new character who is GLBT, and have it be referred to in an ordinary manner as mentioned before (said character kisses lover for a few minutes before heading to their duty station.) It would have to be a character who's in the movie a fair bit, and isn't killed off at the end.
     
  2. Captain Atkin

    Captain Atkin Captain Captain

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    Yes, she was all about power and narcissism, but she clearly enjoyed sex, with both men and women. She was definitely bisexual. She just wasn't one to committ to a relationship.

    Kissing for a few minutes?!? I don't want to see characters kissing for a few minutes in Star Trek, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. A few seconds of kissing is just fine and dandy with me. ;)
     
  3. Xaios

    Xaios Commander Red Shirt

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    Didn't Star Trek already try to tackle this issue twice? First in the episode where Riker falls for that one person from a culture of genderless monosexuals, and again when Jadzia Dax fell in love with the new carrier of a symbiote who was previously bonded with the spouse of one of her previous hosts? Granted, that depiction was still of a persecuted minority, but it's something at least.

    The reason we know that Star Trek "looked forward to a brighter tomorrow" with regards to race was because it depicted people of many different races on screen together as equals. The thing about race, though, is that it's always something that's right there for people to see, so it's easy to show people "hey, this isn't really any big deal for us, we're all just people."

    Sexual orientation, on the other hand, has no such obvious external indicators (unless you happen to make a gay character a queen-type, which would be a massive disservice to te LGBT community). Writing a "normal" gay person while at the same time trying to get across the fact that this person is gay is tremendously difficult, because you have to make it known without drawing attention to it. And trust me, some people interpret ANY outwards signs of someone being gay as an overt attempt to advertise the fact, even something as simple as a gay person telling their partner, "see you after your shift."

    The other thing that makes it difficult to depict properly is that Star Trek's depiction of romantic entanglement has always seemed like a bit of crutch, an easy fallback mechanism to write filler stories. Yes, relationships happen, but considering the franchise focuses on what is technically a military organization, it has always spent too much effort on it, and it generally comes across as more of an attempt to placate "shippers" than as a way to orchestrate personal growth. Combine this less-than-stellar track record of relationship drama with a hot-button issue like sexual orientation, and I just don't see it ending well.

    2 cents deposited.
     
  4. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    ^Actually, it was done quite well in this episode of Star Trek: Phase II:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWWR9z71CFI[/yt]
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was horrible and the worst possible way to show it. I don't need to watch two people fall all over each other to get the idea that they're committed to one another whether it be man-woman, man-man or woman-woman.
     
  6. Franklin

    Franklin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Found this from the website linked to after the quote:

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/tv-characters.html#1961

    Off topic, but playing around on that website, it seems gay characters began to break through in TV shows in the 1970s. For example "Soap", "Hot L Baltimore", "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", and "Barney Miller" had regular or recurring gay characters. "M*A*S*H" had an episode about a gay soldier; "All in the Family" had a couple of episodes about a transvestite that befriended Archie and another episode where Archie finds out one of his best childhood friends is gay; in an episode of "The Bob Newhart" show, one of Bob's patients says he's gay. Gay characters started appearing in soap operas.
     
  7. Keith1701

    Keith1701 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't that this is needed in Star Trek at this time.
     
  8. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Australian prime time soap opera, "Number 96" (1972-77), featured a young gay law student (later a fully-fledged lawyer and landlord) who, during the course of the show, has several flings and a few successful, longterm relationships with men - and he turned out to be one of the most popular characters, both with the other characters in the series and with the general public. Don Finlayson was only one of three main characters to stay with this hugely popular five-nights-a-week show all six years and he (and the writers) did a huge amount for gay Australians identifying with such a character.

    Prior to that character's creation, most gay men on TV turned out to be criminals, rapists, murderers, screaming queens, totally mixed-up bisexuals pretending to be straight, or crossdressers. Or they were killed off very quickly.
     
  9. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We all know the secret gay romance of TOS, it would explain all the tension between the two of them in the first Nu-Trek movie.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Gotta agree. Terrible script.
     
  11. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Putting a gay character in Star Trek would be neither difficult nor controversial. If a programme wants to trade on the fact that it is a 'progressive depiction of the future', then it has no excuses on this front.
     
  12. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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  13. Talosian

    Talosian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Does Star Trek still play on that image? ST09 had none of the progressive political baggage of earlier iterations. It inherited the racial diversity of the original TOS, and that's about it. As far as I'm concerned - good riddance.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek 2009 had quite a bit of background aliens.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps, but that only goes so far. Like Nicole Wallace on L&O:CI, the Intendant may indeed have enjoyed sex - but only so much as it benefitted her. She was incapable of loving others or being truly interested in their well-being. FWIW.
     
  16. CrazyHorse89

    CrazyHorse89 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I can see where you're coming from, but I actually think that ST09 did to a certain extent still spout the 'progressive' mantra. In a number of interviews, the production team and the cast gave pretty big nods to the 'Star Trek is OUR future' motif.

    But even if you don't buy that, think of it another way. In the Western world, homosexuality is no longer the taboo it once was. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is seen by many governments as a product of a bygone era, and the public tends to agree. We see homosexual, bi-sexual, and pansexual people on television and in print everyday. By not including a homosexual character, Star Trek is making a political statement. The absence of something or someone can be just as telling as the inclusion of something or someone.
     
  17. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I disagree with this. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Captain Jack, and I think John Barrowman is fantastic, but I don't think Trek needs a Captain Jack-type character, flirting with anyone with a pulse regardless of the configuration of their genitalia. That sort of thing is more likely to turn into a running joke than a serious depiction.

    As others have said, that ship sailed a long time ago, and the only way to do it now without hanging a big neon sign over the scene saying, "See how progressive we are? Except not, because everyone else has already done this," is to just have a gay or bi character be there, with no particular emphasis placed on their orientation. 25 years ago, sure, they could have had a "very special episode of TNG." Now, they'd just look foolish doing it that way.

    Gack.

    "Rejoined" (if I'm remembering the DS9 episode title correctly) was interesting, and reasonably subtle, in that it used the Trill as an analogy - and Dax was pretty much the perfect character for that. But the TNG episode was terrible. It smacked of the writers using a sledgehammer when they should have used a scalpel.

    What might have redeemed it - and Jonathan Frakes has said this publicly - is if they'd cast a male actor as Soran. But even then, the episode was pretty badly written to make A Point.

    I wouldn't say the script was terrible (though in the interest of full disclosure, perhaps I should admit that I may be biased, as the writer is a friend of mine - I've also read his original version, that he wrote back in 1987). I would say that the acting in Phase Two (that I've seen - I've only seen a couple of episodes) was pretty wooden.
     
  18. Captain Fine

    Captain Fine Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I actually watched it and I enjoyed the couple. I'm sure if they decided to actually pursue a gay couple on a future show or movie they could do just as well if not better.
     
  19. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not exactly a rare condition among humans.
     
  20. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Yup. And both episodes undermined whatever "gay acceptance" message might have been in the subtext.

    In "The Outcast," you had a character from an androgynous race who identified as female. This amounts to Riker having a purely heterosexual relationship with her. Her culture's disapproval mirrors present-day homophobia well enough, but as you said, it totally beats you over the head with it. There's no subtlety or nuance to it.

    "Rejoined" also muddies the waters, because it's not about Jadzia being attracted to a woman, it's about rekindling what was--once again--a heterosexual relationship.

    The Mirror Universe shenanigans are frankly embarrassing. The MU is full of "evil" people, and naturally, they are all sexual deviants. :rolleyes: