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Poll of the Month - Pride & Joy


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Which was the best portrayal of the LGBTQ community in Star Trek?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Which was the best portrayal of the LGBTQ community in Star Trek?

    • Sulu in Star Trek Beyond
      0
    • The J’Naii in TNG
      0
    • The Trill in TNG
      1
    • Culber & Stamets in DSC
      11
    • Raffi & Seven in PIC
      0
    • Adira in DSC
      0
    • Mirror Kira in DS9
      2
    • Have you got another suggestion, let us know your thoughts?
      0


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It’s June, and quite apart from it being warm and summery (at least in my part of the world) it is also Pride Month! Star Trek has a long history of racial inclusivity, from the earliest series onwards but the first main characters canonically portrayed as being a part of the LGBTQ community are Dr Hugh Culber and Lt. Paul Stamets on Discovery. Not that queerness hasn’t existed within the Star Trek universe before, it has, but portrayals of it are few and far between.

But which of those portrayals is your favourite? Let’s start with Culber and Stamets in Discovery; their personal home life is regularly shown in the series (one of my favourite scenes in the whole of Discovery is the one where the two of them are brushing their teeth) and I think we can all agree that they are an excellent example of representation.

What about Adira Tal in the latest series of Discovery? They are non-binary and came out to the aforementioned Stamets in one episode, preferring they/them pronouns. I thought this was an outstanding example of embracing the current shifts in thought and representing them on screen.

I know it’s passe to mention the JJverse in SB118, but I couldn’t let this poll pass without at least mentioning the existence of Hikaru Sulu’s sexuality in that adaptation. Or at least in Beyond, in which he’s shown happily embracing a same-sex partner (a kiss, however, apparently fell to the cutting room floor).

Finally, I will briefly pass over the small instances of LGBT inclusion in the older series. We had the genderless species of the J’Naii in The Outcast episode of The Next Generation. The focus of this episode was on Soren, who felt distinctly female, even admitting an attraction to William Riker (and having an affair with him). You had instances of bisexuality occurring frequently in Trill storylines; Dr Crusher and Odan in The Host, Dax and Kahn in Rejoined to name two, as well as Mirror Kira being romantically involved with Ezri in Deep Space 9.

Do you have other instances you’d like to discuss? Are there portrayals that aren’t good portrayals? Let us know what you think!

pexels-sharon-mccutcheon-1153895.jpg

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I'm going to refrain from voting since I still haven't seen Discovery or Picard.

 

However, I would like to put my unofficial vote in for the Trill as a species.  Even before DS9, the very first appearance of the Trill on TNG showed that basically all Trill are bisexual (because it's not the host body that matters when it comes to love, it's what's inside you).  It also showed that Dr Crusher was unable to overcome her sexual preferences, and when I first watched that episode, it seemed clear to me that Crusher's inability to see past that surface level was a failing on her part.

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Don't let you not using having seen stuff stop you from voting!

I do fully agree with you about Crusher vis a vis surface level failing, I think there's a really interesting debate to be had there about the nature of sexuality (and specifically bisexuality)

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I had issues with Culber and Stamets in the first season of DSC, which got resolved when S2 winged back around. It's good to see the first portrayal of a gay relationship being part of the normal everyday was just that - a genuine look to the future, without the stereotypical drama writers seem to saddle the gays with. 

Similar issues with Adira in DSC. 

Raffi and Seven just... happened? Zero build up, did not see it coming. Hoping to see more in S2 and it's not just a case of stray jigsaw pieces. 

Mirror Kira played into the Depraved Bisexual trope, highlighting just how evil they are (not just Star Trek that did this, there're ample examples where this trope crops up for MirrorUniverse characters), so not taking it so much as representation. 

Crusher was another kettle of fish. I can't see it as a failing on her part, or the part of anyone whose partner goes through a physical change. LGBT folk have argued for a long time that sexuality is what we're born with and can sometimes be fluid in some, so I really don't expect anyone to change their sexuality because the person they love is suddenly in another body they're not attracted to. That's just the nature of attraction. 

 

Edited by Jo Marshall
typo
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