Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by neogothboy74, Apr 3, 2009.
You have any good, peer-reviewed cites on that? Because I've never heard that.
Just google the appropriate terms. I'm not making this stuff up. It's not a secret.
It seems unfortunate to me that there are people who will vehemently attack when they perceive a form of prejudice of which they disapprove, and then will turn around and defend a form of prejudice of which they approve.
Might I make a request of the moderator? Could the Polyamory thread that sprang up in the midst of the LGBT thread be moved into its own thread (complete with the majority of the last several pages of responses)? It is interesting to read, and I plan to continue reading it if it *IS* moved, but it has really derailed what *THIS* thread's stated purpose (and title) is.
What he said. I was just reading the thread I started and found that it had nothing to do with what the original intent was....which was to list LGBT characters in Trek. It wasn't meant to be a debate of any kind. All of the topics that have come up here are worthy of discussion...but couldn't they be discussed in other threads?
i'm perfectly fine just dropping it.
I think topic drift is approaching terminal status...
In an attempt to bring this back to topic, I don't recall if anyone has pointed out that the ST universe now has a homosexual Head of State.
Spoilers in case anyone hasn't read Rough Beasts of Empire by DRG3:
Spoiler: LGBT characters in Trek
Gell Kamemor has now been sworn in as Romulan Praetor. She was established as having had a wife in her first appearance in Serpents Among the Ruins, also by DRG3, and that was mentioned again in passing in RBoE. This shows that Romulan society clearly has no issue with same-sex realtionships or equality. Gamemor was considered the most suitable spokeperson for her influential family, even though she wasn't the oldest as is traditional, and was thought of similarly by the Continuing Committee. It also means the Tzenkethi, who maneuvered her into the Praetorship, don't have any issues with LGBTs either. It also reveals that Romulans must happily practise either surrogacy or adoption (or both) since Gamemor was said to have had a son with the aforementioned wife.
That is great, and that's the way it should be imo, with gay characters present but without their orientation being an issue.
I need to catch up on my Trek reading!
It's sad that this thread DID get back on topic. Because I think this would make a great threadbomb:
I don't think that follows.
The Tzenkethi didn't maneuver Kamemor into power because they approved of her as a person, but because she was the candidate who would best serve the Tzenkethi's agendas if she were placed in the Praetorship. It was a decision based on pragmatism and expediency, not abstract ideology. So whether they approved of her family life or not was irrelevant to whether her Praetorship would help advance their own plans.
Given that the Tzenkethi are big on genetically engineering themselves for greater perfection or specialized goals, I'd imagine they might have a problem with homosexuality within their own species, given that it doesn't serve much of a reproductive role. On the other hand, they might find that homosexuality serves a particular social role within their society, and thereby engineer it into one class but out of others. Either way, though, they wouldn't have much invested in how other species manage their relationships. The Tzenkethi don't much like any other species, period. They only ally with them to the extent that it serves their own interests, but they nonetheless dislike those they ally with. So they'd dislike a heterosexual Romulan as much as a gay, lesbian, or bisexual Romulan.
Irrelevant tangent mode: Activate.
Pointless pedant mode = Go.
Just to get nitpicky, the Romulan Praetor is not the head of state. Previous books, such as Vulcan's Heart, have established that the Emperor serves as the Romulan head of state, with the Praetor serving what we would call the head of government role, roughly akin to the relationship between, say, the British Monarch and Prime Minister.
To be fair, the Romulan Emperor was assassinated in 2374 according to Tales from the Dominion War, and it seems the Throne is still vacant and the Senate still hasn't gotten around to declaring a new Emperor.
If we want to talk about planetary heads of state practicing alternative sexualities, we should include Ra'ch B'ullhy of Damiano. Damiani have three sexes, and B'ullhy's election as governor sparked controversy because she only had one sexual partner (of the third, cogenitor sex) instead of the usual two.
Umm... after having said "I don't think that follows," everything you said actually agreed with my original point: that it doesn't matter to them. Also, from what I remember, Tzenkethi don't actually genetically engineer their citizens, they just assign them to the most suitable positions based on what they already are without changing them.
But is that an alternative sexuality, or just an alternative marriage? Does that say that Ra'ch isn't attracted to the male sex, or just that she hasn't found one she wanted to marry? A Mormon man who takes three wives is still heterosexual even if he doesn't have a mainstream marriage.
No, I'm not agreeing with that at all. You're missing my point.
Just because it doesn't matter to them in the context of other species that they hate anyway, it does not follow that sexuality doesn't matter to them within their own species. They could be passionately bigoted against homosexuals, yet still be okay with putting Kamemor in power on Romulus because it suits their agendas. It would hardly be the first time that someone who hated members of group X nonetheless helped a member of group X gain power in another country in the name of political expediency. So it's completely wrong to argue that the Tzenkethi's backing of Kamemor demonstrates that the Tzenkethi have no homophobia.
I'd say the text is ambiguous. It doesn't explicitly say they do engineer their genes, but it doesn't say they don't. And I find it unlikely in the extreme that a technologically advanced society so preoccupied with genetics would be unwilling to apply their technology directly to their breeding. Why practice genetic monitoring and selection on the social level of assigning people to genetically predetermined roles, yet refuse to practice it on a cellular level and actually create the traits you most desire? Why insist on total control on the macroscopic scale, yet leave things entirely to chance on a more fundamental level? That would be contradictory.
In Perchance to Dream (the Wildstorm comic by KRAD which told this story), B'ullhy's choice of partners was a pretty overt allegory for the gay marriage issue. Damiani who took only one life partner had long been considered aberrant in their society, which was why B'ullhy's election sparked controversy and death threats.
Justified thread necromancy!
I think I know what borgboy was picking up on.
For starters, very often the inclusion of GLBT characters in a particular work is itself a sign that the writer isn't heterosexual. It takes--or at least has taken--extra effort to portray characters of non-normative sexuality, via editirs/censors and the like, hence extra justification. Very often the justification for introducing story elements which could be controversial is the writer's own desire to see a sexual orientation traditionally neglected represented in prose.
Another element of your writing that might also hint that you weren't heterosexual is your positive portrayal of characters that are sexually active and not portrayed as necessarily doing anything wrong because of that. T'Ryssa Chen's pursuit of multiple male sexual partners did stand out to me as a relatively prominent element of her character, as did the lack of disapproval of her sexual activity. (Yes, Choudhury did want to know if she was going to get serious with Rennan Konya, but that concern relates to the effects of a pattern of sexual behaviour, not the pattern itself.) That sort of sex-positive writing is something that, again, is at least reputationally more common among non-heterosexual writers.
tl;dr? It's nice that GLBT rights have become mainstream enough that portraying non-heterosexuals in neutral or positive fashions is no longer a sure way of quietly signalling that you're non-heterosexual yourself.
Finally able to read Plagues of Night (thanks a lot for the spoilers in thread titles, folks, that was real nice of you ), and I note that, as you mention yourself in the other thread rfmcdpei, and as was discussed earlier in this thread I think, we now have an openly gay head of state, Gell Kamemor, and it's absolutely no big deal (at least to Romulans). We also haven't seen anyone else display a problem with it (although that doesn't necessarily mean they don't have a problem with it, only that either they don't know or are politic enough to keep their thoughts to themselves).
But I was also glad to see that John Candlewood has been promoted to Chief Science Officer of DS9. And since I made him gay in my fan fiction, I choose to count that as another gay senior officer in the Trek verse.
I could've sworn Kamemor was mentioned as being gay in Rough Beasts of Empire? I haven't read the latest books and knew she was gay.
Yes, she was, as far back as Serpents in the Ruins actually. It's just I'm reading it right now so it's fresh in my mind.
Just wanted to make sure my memory wasn't failing me.
Separate names with a comma.