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Why are GLBT people totally absent from the Star Trek Universe, isn't it all about celebrating difference and diversity ???

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Showing 1-25 of 632 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 26, 2009 10:57:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2009 8:31:09 PM PST
Shellie says:
Hiya!!! So Yeah that is really my only beef with Star Trek; the glaring omission of queer people and narratives from its entire universe, and with the vulcan philosophy of "infinite diversity in infinite combinations" often touted to explain Treks worldview that omission just seems all the more hypocritical to me. And I would say to Rick Berman that I think most trekkies are open minded enough that they wouldn't really have cared if there was a gay, lesbian or bi character in a Star Trek production... so that's why I'm starting this discussion, to find out the truth of the matter. I mean even Doctor Who has beaten Star Trek to the mark on this issue, it's embarrassing!!! And lastly of all the shows on television Star Trek has no excuse whatsoever to exclude GLBT people from its universe, like none at all. I mean are we to think that a genetic cure has been found for queer individuals in Treks bright future? Or that in Treks bright future queer people are still marginalized? I would think not!!! So yeah I really hope someone replies to this post; thanks for hearing me out, bye!!! ^_^

P.S, I also know it's probably a little too late to be starting this thread considering that Trek has most likely been killed off, but my question's still relevant, or at least I like to think so!!! =)

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 11:09:39 PM PDT
Frank says:
In an episode of TNG, Dr. Crusher falls in love with a trill. When the trill leaves its male host body and finds refuge in a female host body, she just can't accept the lesbian intimacy and calls the relationship off. That's about all I can think of off hand.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 11:34:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2009 12:38:47 AM PDT
Shellie says:
Yeah I vaguely remember that episode; but the gay part was explained away cuz the host Dr. Crusher was in love with was originally male, and when he died and the trill moved into a female host Dr. Crusher was unable to cope with it... although she still had strong feelings of attraction. It was nice in a way; but I still think lame excuses were made, I mean are we really to believe that in Treks enlightened 24 Century people are still that hung up about sexuality or gender roles??? And I do think most trekkies would have welcomed a queer character into the ST universe; and I also think Paramount and Berman have rather patronizingly underestimated most trekkies on this issue, what a shame they couldn't see that!!! =(

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 11:35:03 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 26, 2009 11:35:21 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 2:22:27 PM PDT
jlc1261 says:
Trek has never been about pushing any agenda. It has been about humanity coping with its differences and getting passed them to work together. I'm sure there will be gays and lesbians in the 24th century (assuming humans survive that long), and we may reach a level of understanding that dissipates all the enmity aimed at those whose sexuality falls outside the norms. At that point, it won't matter what your sexuality is. It won't be important and won't generate the controversy it does now, so we can allow everyone, gay and str8, to live and let live. As for the suggestion that Paramount and Rick Berman have underestimated trekkies on this issue, I think more than 40 years of longevity, five TV series, one cartoon series, 11 movies, hundreds of novels, comic books, numerous Trek conventions and a popular Las Vegas attraction argue against that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 5:34:29 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 15, 2009 1:27:05 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 6:24:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2009 6:32:13 PM PDT
Jade28 says:
If you notice, Star Trek is very much about celebrating cultural diversity, but religious and sexual issues are never mentioned because they promote segregation instead of togetherness. Star Trek is about accepting people and cultures as they are, not flaunting differences. I think it's more important to celebrate the fact that differences bring us together than what these differences are. Do you really care who's gay or a specific religion? Does it matter? In this world of hope and a future, it shouldn't. That's the point. Perhaps you're still on impulse drive.

How many wars have been started in the name of G-d or gay? How many do you see on Star TreK? Cap'n there be peace, hope and love here. Who can ask for anything more?

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 10:14:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2009 10:22:17 PM PDT
Shellie says:
Jade and jlc: Queer trekkies are not flaunting their difference; and I'm not arguing about Treks hopeful message for a united humanity, I wholly believe in that message too. Let me ask you a question. In TOS when Paramount wanted to let go of Uhura's character (just cuz she was black) there was an uproar from the african american community and trekkies alike; for they felt it was giving into the racism of many white middle-class americans of the time, but maybe they should have let her go just cuz she was black and supposedly pushing an agenda??? Yes I agree wars and even genocide have been fought and perpetrated in the name of religious (and political) ideologies; but I'm sorry a war has never been fought over gay related issues, I mean not ever!!! And religious themes have been explored in the Trek universe; quite often in fact, yet there are at most only three episodes from various ST series that briefly touch on queer issues, and btw being gay does not promote segregation... but it does promote hate and intolerance from narrow minded bigots!!! All the more reason to address them in a franchise such as Star Trek. So yes it would have been nice to see a GLBT character included in the Star Trek universe; and although I love Trek just as much as any other fan, I think Berman and his team have copped out on this topical issue. And jlc if I hated ST as much as you seem to be suggesting I would not own each and every series and movie on DVD; or talk about it in forums such as this, heck I even own a Captain Proton poster!!! LOL!!! O_o

P.S, And you have read the reply of TH; unless she is just trolling that's the sort of response that people like me get almost everyday online, I think you would agree that it's pretty nasty!!! =(

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 10:25:11 PM PDT
Shellie says:
I also come in here btw as a fellow trekkie posing a topical question; my aim was not to cause divisiveness or anger, but to generate civilized and intelligent debate on an issue that many feel has been ignored for way too long... thank you. =)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 11:43:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2009 11:45:19 PM PDT
Robert Black says:
Homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom. Current genetic research shows that sexual orientation is a diverse spectrum (including degrees of homosexuality and heterosexuality) and cannot be isolated to a single gene. If you tried to remove the genes for "sexuality" you would end up with totally sexless beings. Latest evolutionary research also shows the value of same sex behavior in animals and humans and suggests that this is an integral part of the evolutionary process.
Love the youtube clip, BTW

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 11:46:23 PM PDT
Robert Black says:
Do you really care who's gay or a specific religion? Does it matter? In this world of hope and a future, it shouldn't. That's the point. Perhaps you're still on impulse drive.

I certainly agree. But if this is true then there should be no problem showing an obviously gay character, which they do not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2009 12:41:00 AM PDT
Shellie says:
I think I owe you an apology TH; from the looks of that Scrubs clip you were only pulling my leg, so I'm sorry for my knee jerk reaction... LOL, very funny indeed!!! XD

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 12:56:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2009 3:19:26 AM PDT
Shellie says:
As an avid trekkie I not only love Star Trek for its secular worldview and hopeful message; I also love it cuz it has always addressed topical social and ethical issues in an intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate way. Me and other queer trekkies don't want a big deal to be made of a GLBT character in a Star Trek production; we just want to see ourselves depicted in our favorite show, is that too much to ask for??? As a manifestation of popular culture ST is almost unique in that it has a message that preaches tolerance of difference and diversity; it is a message that inspires a sense hope for the future in its fans, yet queer people are totally absent from this wonderful depiction of our future... and to me that seems most unfair. >.<

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 1:33:49 PM PDT
Shelly: Yes, the post was intended to be humorous, but it does indicate a pretty serious issue. We're actually on the verge of identifying the physical characteristics of homosexuality, both physiological and genetic. What happens when there is indeed a prenatal test for gayness?

I'm not a parent, so I only have my opinions, not experiences. Today, we can test for Down Syndrome, and fetuses are regularly aborted for that. You have religious right wackos admitting that they would indeed abort a fetus if they knew it was gay. How's that for moral ambiguity?

Do gay rights begin in the womb?

Back to Trek, Malcolm was SUPPOSED to be gay in ENT, but the producers chickened out because they were afraid their fledgling network would get banned in the bible belt. Frankly, a little controversy could only have helped that show. The question is demographics, demographics demographics. And the producers answered that question with an "Offend nobody!" approach.

Kind of ironic considering how TOS eagerly took on war, race, and all the other ills of its time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2009 10:17:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 28, 2009 10:21:04 PM PDT
Shellie says:
LOL!!! I totally agree TH; I am both trans and bi so you can imagine how this issue might be close to my heart, but I think most scientists would look at some loony religious nutter with horror if they suggested we abort (so called) gay babies!!! Yeah I had heard the rumours amongst other trekkies about Malcolm's character supposedly being meant to be gay... but I thought it was just that, a rumour!!! And yes of all the Star Trek series TOS was the most topical; I think the later ST series copped out on issues that TOS would probably have covered, but I still love them to bits!!! =)

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 12:10:13 AM PDT
Shellie says:
I love your name btw Tammany; it's unusual and pretty, my name is Michelle which is too boring and common for my tastes... *hugs* XD

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 12:16:40 AM PDT
Gene chose not to pursue that subject directly, and Rick Berman honored his wishes once he took the reigns of Star Trek. I think personally that having that on the shows would cheapen it, and a large majority of the fans would be alienated by the inclusion of it.

Hope that helps.

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 12:39:38 AM PDT
Katra Briel says:
Shelly, If you look you will find a myriad of episodes in the Star Trek universe that touch on the subject, but not many that actually deal with it. One episode had Riker fall in love with a being from a planet that frouns on any "Gender" expression. The character winds up being taken away and being "re-educated" to conform to society's normal values.
Deep Space 9 featured an episode where Jadzia Dax (a trill) encounters another trill from her past where their past hosts were married to each other. In their current form they both have female hosts and, against accepted trill protocols for rekindling past relationships (regardless of hetro, homo or other sexual nature), they begin to explore that relationship as two female characters. This resulted in one of the first "Prime-Time TV" kisses (of a romantic nature) between two female characters.
In the movie "First Contact" the part of LT Hawk (the Helmsman who towards the end of the movie was assimilated by the Borg) was to be gay, but they ran out of time and the character being gay actually had NO BEARING to the story.
My personal belief as to why there are not many LGBT characters is because it does not matter to anyone about their or others sexual relationships. I mean if it is OK for cross species relationships, then I cannot conceive that they would have any problem with same sex relationships.
During Enterprise we discover that Dr Phlox is from a culture where Polyamourous marriages re the norm, and I got the distinct feeling that when the whole family got together that there was not any barriers for sexual relations between same sex partners within the same married group. They did not come right out and say it, but I felt it was implied.
Finally, in the last TNG Movie, "Nemisis", when Data begines his speach at Riker and Troi's wedding he opens with "Ladies, Gentlemen and Transgender Species...".
I'm sure that if someone took the time, you could find all sorts of tidbits, but those are just the ones off the top of my head that I could think of.
Live Long and Prosper!
Katra Briel

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 12:49:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2009 12:53:09 AM PDT
Shellie says:
OMG GH!!! How would including a GLBT character cheapen Star Trek and alienate its fans; I mean the new series of Doctor Who has included queer character and it hasn't been cheapened one bit, and its fan have certainly not been alienated at all by that brave decision... they love it!!! And actually towards the end of his life Gene was open to the idea of including a queer character; but he died before that could be done, which is a crying shame. I mean was making Catherine Janeway the captain in Voyager a cheapening of ST??? When in previous series they didn't do that cuz they believed people couldn't accept it; your argument is patently ridiculous GH, and is giving in to the intolerance of the few... I think that sort of excuse does a grave disservice to Gene's wonderful legacy!!! =(

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 12:58:39 AM PDT
Shellie says:
But that's my point KB; it shouldn't matter in the Star Trek universe what ones sexuality is, so why not include a queer character??? =)

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 4:40:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2009 4:44:15 AM PDT
Shellie says:
And here is something to think about. Creative gay people like George Takei, David Gerrold and Mike Minor have all contributed greatly to the Star Trek phenomenon; and straight actors such as Kate Mulgrew, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, John Bilingsley and Scott Bakula (amongst others) have all supported the inclusion of queer characters or issues in the ST universe... are we to believe that they are all somehow misguided on this point??? >.<

Posted on Jul 29, 2009 5:30:59 AM PDT
Barrymac says:
I think the answer is a lot simpler than y'all are making it - the producers simply didn't want to deal with the possiblilty or hassles of alienating (get it??) their middle amerika audience. Notice that the few instances of glbt only popped up as we got into the later '90s, when the the national discussion of glbt became a little (very little) less frenzied.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 5:37:34 AM PDT
Shellie says:
You have of course hit the nail on the spot Barrymac; I do get it, sad to say but your 100% spot on... doesn't make it right though. =(

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 7:26:07 AM PDT
Shelly, I think you give Trek fans too much credit. Several are very open and accepting of cultural diversity but not all and I think the producers of Trek cater to those who are not accepting. I've been a Trek fan since I was about 8, I'm in my 40s now. I was drawn to Trek because originally it always showed minorities in a positive light, but more importantly, it showed minorities being accepted. As a black woman, when I began participating in fandom, I got the very rude awakening that what I saw on the screen was not always the reality in fandom. Although these people love a show that clearly says accepting diversity is good, these people still cling to silly prejudices.

Dr. Who has moved past these hang-ups because in many ways Europe is not so judgmental as America. Americans have a lot of silly hang-ups about race and sexual orientation that comes from our history and the people who founded this nation. It is unfortunate that we still judge based on race and still object to homosexuality. I remember the episode with the Trill. Dr. Crusher couldn't accept the new body NOT because it was a woman but just in general. She said she couldn't handle the possibility that her partner could change so radically and on a regular basis. That's all silly now because on DS9 they said Trill couldn't continue old relationships once they got a new body.

I don't think Trek is dead. It was before this last movie but this new movie is a re-boot so maybe they will have GLBT in the re-boot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2009 9:37:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2011 8:59:11 PM PST
Shellie says:
Oh thank you Sheri! Finally someone who sees this issue from my point of view; yes it is a rude awakening isn't it, many trekkies forget that Star Trek is not only about portraying a bright future where everything is better than now but is also about addressing topical social and ethical issues. And yes Europe is far more progressive than the US or Aus; I guess that's part of the reason why I love Doctor Who so much now, cuz it's not only very original and quirkily left of centre, but also cuz it includes queer characters in an understated, thoughtful and inclusive way. Well I wouldn't know that cuz I've never really participated in Star Trek fandom that much at all and haven't even been to a Trek convention; but I too hope that ST is not dead, only time will tell I suppose... live long and prosper!!! >.<
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