Alex Blaze

Mom, Dad, I'm a Trekkie

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 19, 2007 2:54 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Gene Roddenberry, media, star trek

365gay has a great article up about an upcoming episode of Star Trek with a gay couple. There isn't currently a Star Trek on TV; it's going to be produced and released online from a fan-run site called Star Trek: New Voyages. The new episode will be about a gay couple that appears on the Enterprise and is afflicted with a mysterious blood-born disease.

This is a lot better than the last queer characters I saw in Star Trek (and I never saw a single episode of Enterprise): the Terok Nor universe Kira Nerys who toyed around with the naive Terok Nor universe Ezri Dax's feelings to control her in season 9 of Deep Space Nine. Not a great representation, but recognizably queer nonetheless. There was also an episode where Jadzia Dax was getting pretty hot and heavy with one of Curzon Dax's lovers and caused Worf some jealousy, but I don't see that as being queer so much as being Trill. This episode, though, has a completely same-sex couple. Portrayed well. Too bad it's not going to be on TV.

I'm excited because this is the reason that I liked Star Trek a whole lot more than Star Wars. The latter was all about recognizable good versus recognizable evil. Star Trek was so much more complex; the Klingons who were the scurge of the Federation in the original series were their biggest allies against the Dominion in DS9, the Federation had a friendly/tense relationship with Cardassia who later joined up with the Founders to try to take over and enslave the Alpha Quadrant and then eventually turned on the Dominion, and Voyager was even able to ally themselves with the Borg to escape Species 8472. I think queer people can find a lot of truth in that - we're often working against people who aren't completely evil, who change their opinions, and are sometimes even in our own families. Simple evil/good dichotomies don't capture the complexity of our realities.

Remember that this was one of the first shows in the 1960's to show a Black person and white people working alongside each other with the character Lieutenant Uhura. Too bad the shows' producers after Gene Roddenberry weren't quite as ahead of their time.

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do you remember the episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation where they ended up on a planet where all the people were androgynous - neither male nor female? (The "elders" knew which was which and extracted egg and sperm for test-tube babies, thereby propagating their species). Their physical characteristics were on the ambiguous side, though none were quite so severe as "Pat" on SNL. Anyhow, one of these folks took Ryker aside and told him that since birth, she had always felt that she was female, and asked him to take her away from her home planet so that she could live her life as a female. Even though this was a clear violation of The Prime Directive (oh jeez, why do I know this?), Ryker and Worf tried to bust her out and got caught. She was then subjected to a "re-programming" and was suddenly very happy being neither male nor female again. I remember my shock and outrage at this treatment and thought, wow, those writers sure have wild imaginations! Thank goodness we don't have that problem here ...

... uh, ... wait ... Oh God, we do have that problem here. No imagination necessary on this one.

The episode was social commentary. And it was so well-written that even the most right-leaning person got had. And knowing full well I was about to ruin a family dinner, and despite pleading looks from my husband, I pointed out to my father-in-law that the storyline contoured very closely to GLBT issues. He went from sympathy to denial to Left-Wing-Star-Trek-Conspiracy Theory in about 4 seconds and I had to eat at the children's table. It was kinda quiet in the car on the way home too.