Leslie Robinson

Where No Gays Have Gone Before

Filed By Leslie Robinson | February 01, 2011 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Brannon Braga, LGBT's in science fiction, Star Trek, television

Brannon Braga, who produced many of the episodes and feature films in the Star Trek star_trek.jpguniverse, told AfterElton.com that the franchise's lack of gay characters was "a shame." His new show, Terra Nova, so far also has no gay characters.

It doesn't strike me as all that hard to include LGBT characters in televised science fiction. I'll take a shot at a scene right now:


CAPTAIN ISABEL RODRIGUEZ and FIRST ENGINEER SUE TREMAINE, wearing work jumpsuits, drink Saturn Slings.

TREMAINE: I'll never get over her.

RODRIGUEZ: That's what you said last time.

TREMAINE: I'm repetitive. Sue me.

RODRIGUEZ: What you are is addicted to the chase.

TREMAINE: If I wanted psychoanalysis I'd be drinking with the counselor from Pluto with three feet.

RODRIGUEZ: Maybe you should take a break from women.

TREMAINE: Not in this lifetime. And if what the Oracle told me is true, not in the next one either.

GOOSIE the barkeeper stops at their table.

GOOSIE: Another round, ladies?

RODRIGUEZ: No thanks, Goosie. We have to work tomorrow.

TREMAINE: Hey Goose, I can't tell if you're a guy or a girl today.

GOOSIE: Not too sure myself. Wait, it's Tuesday. Guy.

He moves to the next table.

TREMAINE: Hell of an interesting planet he comes from.

RODRIGUEZ: It's bedtime for me.

TREMAINE: The night is young! Look, the Orion Express just unloaded. Visitors who'd love to be shown around by our fair captain.

RODRIGUEZ: Stuff it.

TREMAINE: Izzy, you haven't been with a man or a woman since the Leberwurstians invaded.

RODRIGUEZ: The tingling in my artificial nose says they'll be back. I have to lead. Not love.

See? Adding LGBT characters opens a host of dramatic doors. Sci-fi creators need to beam us on board.

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We'll see what happens when it switches from BBC to Starz.

Kathy Padilla | February 1, 2011 1:59 PM

It's really sad that a franchise which used to break social barriers has fallen so far behind the times that they are now lag behind the US military.

Star Fleet still has DADT?

Braga is from my home town and said the same thing not long ago and a semenar. I don't think Star Fleet cares about sex much.

They could have an absolute blast with a few transportor malfunctions. Scramble a few molecules due to some hyperwave interferences and come up with modified sexual orientations and maybe even put one of the men's brains in a female and vice versa. Think of all the combinations and variations. They could even fix some problems but others might be permanent. Where is their creativity?

Kathy Padilla | February 1, 2011 3:26 PM

They did a mind transfer bit in the original series with Kirk being force-ably swapped with a ex lover - Janice Lester.



They did a played for laughs sex change on DS9 where Quark had a temp one from Dr. Bashir

And in "Profit and Lace", Quark became involved in Zek's plan to regain his office as Grand Nagus; when Ishka suffered a heart attack before an important meeting with Nilva, Quark underwent a sex change to take her place. Despite complications, the ruse succeeded, and Quark was restored to maleness.

I remember seeing that episode as a kid, and as you'd expect, and the idea that a man and a woman could switch bodies absolutely fascinated me.

The other show like that which held the same level of intense interest for me as a kid was the episode of Gilligan's Island where an evil mad scientist takes the castaways to his secret island and uses his mind transfer machine to switch the men's and the women's minds. In my seven-or-eight-year-old mind, I envied the Professor because I wanted to be Mary Ann and wear that cute little gingham dress soooo badly.

Even though I am a major fan of most things Star Trek; I'm still sorely disappointed in the franchise. The original series broke new ground in story telling, inclusivity, and interesting characters. The next generation started out that way as well; but after Mr. Roddenberry's death, the franchise became a homogenized, predigested pulp. Because of the blandness of American sci-fi, I watch programs and movies from other nations. Torchwood, Dr. Who, ReGenesis, Z.O.S., and several other programs honor Mr. Roddenberry's legacy far better than anything produced by Hollywood.