Boldly not going

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The original Star Trek cast | Desilu | 14269

Wired’s Devon Maloney looks back at ‘Star Trek’ and tries to fathom out why openly gay characters were absent in a series which otherwise looked forward to an age of full equality.

“The invisibility of gay characters isn’t neutral; it’s negative, and represents a glaring double standard. After all, many a heterosexual romance has played out on the Star Trek screen, often involving notorious ladies’ men like Kirk and The Next Generation‘s Commander William Riker. The omission of a simple homosexual storyline, regardless of how many interspecies or interracial or almost-homosexual romances have been featured, is still very much a point of concern. We are, after all, still living in the 21st century, not the 24th, and it would still be significant to see an LGBT officer serving on the bridge today, much as it was to see a black woman in the ’60s when civil rights battles were being waged.”

The first Star Trek series was made for television in the era before Stonewall, and the networks would not have wanted to put off sponsors, advertisers, and overseas sales, now would they.


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One thought on “Boldly not going

  1. I’ve always found it gobsmacking that every excrutiating detail of inter-species relationships can be featured – provided that both protagonists (and there are always just two) exhibit clearly defined humanoid male/female characteristic divisions. Surely there’s more chance of that sort of thing stopping the hens laying and scaring the horses than a couple of nice nellies or ladies in sensible shoes having a warp-speed snog?

    Social invisibility is what keeps the masses from squirming in their seats. I work hard to get over my innate heterophobia, it’s time that the media made similar reciprocal efforts.

    Lt. Hawk in the film “First Contact” was supposed to be wildly gay and in a trousers-only relationship but he was killed off before you could say “oops” and was portrayed as the most neutral, blank character you could imagine. Hardly extensive or positive. Oh well.

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