Sexuality in Star Trek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sexuality has been a significant theme in the various Star Trek television and motion-picture series. Sexual relationships in Star Trek have mostly been depicted as heterosexual in nature. There have been depictions of bisexual relationships, but always with a twist (e.g. using versions of characters from a mirror universe instead of the "real" ones; female Trill Dax and Kahn in "Rejoined" had been a heterosexual couple in their former lives).[1]

Inter-species and inter-ethnic relationships have been commonly depicted. A comparatively broader range of views has been shown with respect to monogamy, polygamy, and the institution of marriage. In as much as sexuality can lead to reproduction, some plots have revolved around the possibility of children in a given inter-species relationship, as well as the prejudice that the resulting children have to endure from their parents' societies. The representations reflect contemporaneous attitudes to sexuality of American metropolitan culture, first during the sixties and then in later decades of the twentieth century.

Marriage in Star Trek[edit]

Many major species in the Star Trek universe are depicted as having mainly monogamous, heterosexual marital relationships. Major characters who became married to each other include Keiko and Miles O'Brien, Worf and Jadzia Dax, Leeta and Rom, Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, William Riker and Deanna Troi, and Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher (in the alternate future of the episode "All Good Things..."). Other characters noted as being married include Leonard McCoy (divorced before both the original series and the events of Star Trek, he remarries during the course of the original series), Beverly Crusher (widowed before the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation), Katherine Pulaski, Benjamin Sisko, Tuvok, and T'Pel. The Doctor, a holographic individual, spent time with his own holographic family and got married to a human woman in the alternate timeline from which Admiral Janeway returns. James Kirk, experiencing memory loss, marries a Native American woman, Miramanee. The marriage lasts for several months, until Miramanee's death. The wedding of two crewmen commences but is interrupted in "Balance of Terror."

The Next Generation episode "Up the Long Ladder" depicts two groups of human colonists, one of which is entirely made of clones that have begun to show genetic defects, being told that they must resort to polyamory, or at least a relaxation of monogamy, as a requirement to maintain genetic viability. Dr. Pulaski advises that each woman have a child by three different men and each man father a child with three different women to ensure sufficient genetic diversity.

In the 1991 episode of Next Generation, "Data's Day", Data mentions that Bolian marriages require three individuals. The 1999 episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Field of Fire" references this, when Dax mentions that a deceased male Bolian crew member had a co-husband in addition to a wife.

The first regular cast member to be a part of a polyamorous marriage was Phlox, the Denobulan doctor aboard the Enterprise (NX-01) on Enterprise. He had three wives, who in turn each had two other husbands besides him, and these were open marriages where spouses were free to pursue sexual relationships with others, as evidenced when one of Phlox's wives visited the Enterprise and openly flirted with Trip Tucker, in the episode "Stigma".

Sexuality outside marriage[edit]

Most relationships into which Starfleet officers enter are brief, nonmarital, serially monogamous. Officers are frequently seen to have sexual relationships lasting no more than an episode. William Riker is an example of this. In the film Star Trek Generations, Kirk reminisces over his girlfriend of two years, Antonia, and regrets never marrying her. In the Nexus temporal anomaly, he is provided a second chance and decides to marry her. In actuality, the Nexus is not real and the marriage never takes place.

Some characters have been shown to have children out of wedlock. Kirk's son David Marcus and Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko were both born to parents who never married.

Deltans, a race introduced in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, are so profoundly sexual that they must swear an oath of celibacy upon entering Starfleet to avoid harming non-Deltans they may serve with.

Religious figures, as in real life, are not necessarily bound by rules of celibacy in the Star Trek universe. On the deeply religious world of Bajor, for instance, even the spiritual leaders may enter non-marital sexual relationships without religious disapproval.

Interracial Relationships in Star Trek[edit]

"Plato's Stepchildren"[edit]

The episode is often cited as the "first interracial kiss" depicted on television, between James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), but the reality is not so straightforward. William Shatner recalls in Star Trek Memories that NBC insisted their lips never touch (the technique of turning their heads away from the camera was used to conceal this); moreover, the episode portrays the kiss as involuntary, being forced by telekinesis. However, Nichelle Nichols insists in her autobiography Beyond Uhura (written in 1994 after Shatner's book) that the kiss was real, even in takes where her head obscures their lips.[2]

The term "interracial" is used in this context to refer to black and white actors. Star Trek had also previously featured an interracial kiss between William Shatner and France Nuyen in "Elaan of Troyius" but had drawn no comment. Nancy Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. kissed in the 1967 NBC TV special Movin' With Nancy[3] (though on British television, the event had happened earlier in both a 1964 episode of the prime-time hospital soap Emergency – Ward 10 and in 1962 in a live televised drama, You in Your Small Corner).

Despite this, when NBC executives learned of the kiss they became concerned it would anger TV stations in the conservative Deep South.[4] Earlier in 1968, NBC had expressed similar concern over a musical sequence in a Petula Clark special in which she touched Harry Belafonte's arm, a moment cited as the first occasion of direct physical contact on American television between a man and woman of different races.[5] At one point during negotiations, the idea was brought up of having Spock kiss Uhura instead, but William Shatner insisted that they stick with the original script.[citation needed] NBC finally ordered that two versions of the scene be shot—one where Kirk and Uhura kissed and one where they did not. Having successfully shot the former version of the scene, Shatner and Nichelle Nichols deliberately flubbed every take of the latter version, thus forcing the episode to go out with the kiss intact.[6] As Nichelle Nichols writes:

Knowing that Gene was determined to air the real kiss, Bill shook me and hissed menacingly in his best ham-fisted Kirkian staccato delivery, "I! WON'T! KISS! YOU! I! WON'T! KISS! YOU!"

It was absolutely awful, and we were hysterical and ecstatic. The director was beside himself, and still determined to get the kissless shot. So we did it again, and it seemed to be fine. "Cut! Print! That's a wrap!" The next day they screened the dailies, and although I rarely attended them, I couldn't miss this one. Everyone watched as Kirk and Uhura kissed and kissed and kissed. And I'd like to set the record straight: Although Kirk and Uhura fought it, they did kiss in every single scene. When the non-kissing scene came on, everyone in the room cracked up. The last shot, which looked okay on the set, actually had Bill wildly crossing his eyes. It was so corny and just plain bad it was unusable. The only alternative was to cut out the scene altogether, but that was impossible to do without ruining the entire episode. Finally, the guys in charge relented: "To hell with it. Let's go with the kiss." I guess they figured we were going to be cancelled in a few months anyway. And so the kiss stayed.[7]

There were, however, few contemporary records of any complaints commenting on the scene.[8] Nichelle Nichols observes that "Plato's Stepchildren" which first aired in November 1968 "received a huge response. We received one of the largest batches of fan mail ever, all of it positive, with many addressed to me from girls wondering how it felt to kiss Captain Kirk, and many to him from guys wondering the same thing about me. Interestingly, however, almost no one found the kiss offensive" except from a single mildly negative letter by a white Southerner.[8] Nichols notes that "for me, the most memorable episode of our last season was 'Plato's Stepchildren'."[9]

Later interracial relationships[edit]

Relationships between humans of different races have been depicted in more modern series. Keiko O'Brien, who is Japanese, and Miles O'Brien, who is Irish, appear as a married couple in both TNG and DS9.[citation needed] Discovery has featured two interracial relationships: Michael Burnham and Ash Tyler (who are of African-American and Middle Eastern descent, respectively), and Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber (who are respectively of European and Puerto Rican descent).

Inter-species mating[edit]

Relationships between characters of different species have sometimes been used as an analogy for interracial relationships.

As evidenced by the existence of Spock, inter-species mating has been a part of Star Trek since its first episode. The original series, its animated follow-up, Star Trek, and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier all contained instances in which Spock had to deal with the consequences of his human–Vulcan biology. Subsequent series that featured at least one regular or recurring character who was the result of an interspecies coupling include Deanna Troi on The Next Generation, Ziyal on Deep Space Nine, and B'Elanna Torres and Naomi Wildman on Voyager. On Enterprise the series' penultimate story arc dealt with the first human–Vulcan offspring. In "Terra Prime", a cloned child of Charles Tucker III and T'Pol was used by a xenophobic political group as an example of the "dangers" of inter-species breeding.

A species frequently involved in inter-species reproduction is human: Spock, Deanna Troi, K'Ehleyr, Sela, Lt. Daniel Kwan (a half-Napean in "Eye of the Beholder"), B'Elanna Torres, and Naomi Wildman are only a few Trek characters who have one human parent and one non-human parent.

On Deep Space Nine, Worf, a Klingon, and Jadzia Dax, a Trill, have a sexual relationship and later marry ("You Are Cordially Invited...").

An example of non-reproductive mating occurred when Data, an android, had a sexual encounter with Tasha Yar, a human, in the Next Generation episode "The Naked Now". Other examples include "I, Mudd", where it's implied that Harry Mudd and Chekhov have relations with androids, "Requiem For Methuselah", where Kirk kisses and falls in love with Rayna who was built by Flint to be his companion, "What Are Little Girls Made Of", which features an android-to-android relationship between Dr. Corby and Andria, and also various affairs with holodeck characters.

LGBT in Star Trek[edit]

The Pocket Books 1992 guideline for story submission, "How to Submit Creative Material," states: "We are not interested in books that suggest anything other than friendship among any of the Enterprise crewmembers."[10] In the new Star Trek reboot, Hikaru Sulu is revealed as the first LGBT character in the series. He is shown to have a daughter and loving husband.

George Takei, who portrayed Lt. Sulu, at a pride parade in 2006. In 2005, Takei came out as gay.

Star Trek's original series did not have any explicitly LGBT characters, although in 2005 George Takei, who portrayed helmsman Lt. Hikaru Sulu, came out as gay.[11][12] In October 2011, Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the rebooted feature film franchise, publicly came out as gay.[13] He explained that, after the suicide of bisexual teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, he realized "that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality."[14]

Roddenberry once spoke of overcoming his own homophobia. In a 1991 interview with The Humanist, he remarked:

My attitude toward homosexuality has changed. I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. I was never someone who hunted down 'fags' as we used to call them on the street. I would, sometimes, say something anti-homosexual off the top of my head because it was thought, in those days, to be funny. I never really deeply believed those comments, but I gave the impression of being thoughtless in these areas. I have, over many years, changed my attitude about gay men and women.[15]

According to The Advocate, Roddenberry promised that in the then-upcoming fifth season of TNG, gay crew members would appear on the show. Other stars of the franchise chimed in, with Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock) offering his support in a 1991 letter to the Los Angeles Times saying, "It is entirely fitting that gays and lesbians will appear unobtrusively aboard the Enterprise—neither objects of pity nor melodramatic attention."[16]

However, Roddenberry died soon after his interviews and the announced plans to have a gay crew member on TNG never materialized. Control of the Star Trek franchise fell to Rick Berman. While no gay crew members appeared on TNG, "The Outcast" was one episode that was intended to address the subject of sexual discrimination in the Star Trek universe. The episode featured Soren, a member of an androgynous race called the J'naii, who find the concept of gender primitive and offensive. Soren, unlike most others of her race, reveals to Commander Riker that she is inclined toward a female identity and is attracted to him. Riker and Soren begin a secret romantic relationship, and when her people discover this, she is arrested and subjected to "psychotectic therapy", by which she has all elements of gender eliminated, and loses her attraction to Riker. The episode was met with both praise and criticism from the LGBT community. In the case of the latter, criticism came from people who felt that it sanctioned the brainwashing therapy to which Soren was subjected, and others who felt that the creative staff abdicated their responsibility to exploring the issue.[17] Actor Jonathan Frakes, who played Riker, also commented that the episode was not daring enough, in that Soren, who was played by Melinda Culea, should have been more evidently male.[1]

In a 2008 interview, Trek writer Ronald D. Moore responded to a question of why there were few gay characters in science fiction in general and none on Star Trek:

We've just failed at it. It's not been something we've successfully done. At Star Trek we used to have all these stock answers for why we didn't do it. The truth is it was not really a priority for any of us on the staff so it wasn't really something that was strong on anybody's radar. And then I think there's a certain inertia that you're not used to writing those characters into these dramas and then you just don't. And somebody has to decide that it's important before you do it and I think we're still at the place where that's not yet a common – yeah, we have to include this and this is an important thing to include in the shows. Sci-fi for whatever reason is just sort of behind the curve on all this.[18]

In 2002, Kate Mulgrew (who played Captain Janeway) gave an interview to Metrosource where she spoke candidly about the issue of LGBT characters in the Star Trek television universe:

Because of its both political and potentially incendiary substance. I'm in a minority as well, as a woman. It took a lot of courage on their part to hire a woman. I think that right up until the end they were very dubious about it. It's one thing to cast a subordinate black, Asian, or woman, but to put them in a leading role means the solid endorsement of one of the largest studios in the world. And that goes for a gay character as well. It requires a terrific social conscience on their part and the pledge of some solidarity and unanimity, which I think is probably at the source of most of this problem to get every one of those executives on board regarding this decision.[19]

That same year Mulgrew stated in an August 2002 interview for Out in America:

Well, one would think that Hollywood would be more open-minded at this point, since essentially the whole town is run by the gay community. It makes very little sense if you think about it. No, Star Trek is very strangely by the book in this regard. Rick Berman, who is a very sagacious man, has been very firm about certain things. I've approached him many, many times over the years about getting a gay character on the show--one whom we could really love, not just a guest star. Y'know, we had blacks, Asians, we even had a handicapped character--and so I thought, this is now beginning to look a bit absurd. And he said, "In due time." And so, I'm suspecting that on Enterprise they will do something to this effect. I couldn't get it done on mine. And I am sorry for that.[20]

In a 1990 Next Generation episode, "The Offspring", Data creates Lal, an android daughter, and the other crew members seek to explain humanoid sexuality to her. According to TNG research consultant Richard Arnold, Whoopi Goldberg refused to deliver her character's dialog with a strictly heterosexual explanation:

According to the script, Guinan was supposed to start telling Lal, "When a man and a woman are in love..." and in the background, there would be men and women sitting at tables, holding hands. But Whoopi refused to say that. She said, "This show is beyond that. It should be 'When two people are in love.'"[21]

Brannon Braga in 2011 spoke about the

...constant back and forth about "Well, how do we portray the spectrum of sexuality?" There were people who felt very strongly that we should be showing casually, you know, just two guys together in the background in Ten Forward. At the time the decision was made not to do that and I think those same people would make a different decision now because I think, you know, that was 1989, well yeah about 89, 90, 91. I have no doubt that those same creative players wouldn't feel so hesitant to have, you know, have been squeamish about a decision like that.

Suggesting that TNG in particular was under pressure from affiliates to be a "family show", Braga characterized the decision not to include LGBT characters as "not a forward thinking decision". Braga alluded to some episodes of TNG and one DS9 episode featuring Dax as dealing with non-heterosexuality metaphorically.[22]

J. J. Abrams, who rebooted the franchise with 2009's Star Trek, said in 2011 that he was "frankly shocked that in the history of Star Trek there have never been gay characters in all the series". Including a gay character in the next film "was not in the list of my priorities to try to figure out how to make this movie in the best possible way. But it will now be in the hopper." Abrams did not commit to including an identifiably non-heterosexual character but did commit to bringing the idea to the writers.[23] Ultimately, Star Trek Into Darkness did not include an identifiably LGBT character.

On July 7, 2016, it was announced that the film Star Trek Beyond would portray Hikaru Sulu as being in a same-sex relationship raising a daughter. This would make him the first main openly gay character in the Star Trek film franchise.[24]

The 2017 series Star Trek: Discovery introduced Paul Stamets as the first openly gay character in a Star Trek television series.[25][better source needed]

Notable episodes[edit]

"Blood and Fire" (TNG)
"Blood and Fire" was commissioned to be written by David Gerrold but never actually filmed. Gerrold has stated that while many of the TNG cast and crew (including Roddenberry) were supportive of the storyline, the script's positive depiction of an openly gay couple met stiff opposition from the studio and the script never made it into production.[26]

"The Offspring" (TNG)
The 1990 episode "The Offspring" shows Data creating an android offspring named Lal. Data makes Lal gender-neutral, to let Lal select whatever appearance Lal is comfortable with. Lal eventually selects a female humanoid form after passing up being a human male, Klingon male, and an Andorian female.

"The Host" (TNG)

The 1991 episode "The Host" portrays Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) falling in love with Odan, a Trill mediator. After he is mortally injured, she discovers that the Trill is a symbiotic race formed when a worm-like creature is combined with a humanoid host. The memories and personality of the Trill are carried forward when the Trill moves from one host to another. The Odan host dies, and the Trill is temporarily housed in William Riker's body to keep it alive until the new host can arrive on the Enterprise. When the new host arrives, Dr. Crusher sees that she is female and learns it is common for Trill to have both male and female hosts. Dr. Crusher says that even though she still loves Odan, she cannot be with the new host. She ends their relationship saying, "Perhaps it is a Human failing, but we are not accustomed to these kinds of changes. I can't keep up. How long will you have this host? What would the next one be? I can't live with that kind of uncertainty. Perhaps, someday, our ability to love won't be so limited."

"The Outcast" (TNG)
In 1992, the episode titled "The Outcast" is a story in which Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) falls in love with Soren, a member of the androgynous J'naii species that views the expression of gender, especially sexual liaisons, as a sexual perversion. When the affair between Riker and Soren is discovered, the J'naii force Soren to undergo "psychotectic" therapy. Soren gets the chance to defend one's right to love regardless of sex, or gender, or lack thereof. Soren was played by actress Melinda Culea, and all of the main J'naii characters were played by women, a creative decision criticized by Frakes, who felt that Soren should have been played by a man.[1]

"Rejoined" (DS9)
Trill female Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) gave fans the first romantic same-sex kiss in Star Trek television. Dax has been described as a "bisexual woman in the most far-reaching sense", and as a joined Trill, a "serial hermaphrodite".[27] In the 1995 episode "Rejoined", Jadzia considers reuniting with another female Trill, Dr. Lenara Kahn (played by Susanna Thompson). Originally the script called for Dr. Kahn to be played by a male actor, but it was changed because the producers felt that the audience would better understand the violation of the Trill taboo against re-establishing relationships with past hosts if it involved two women.[28] The Dax and Kahn symbionts had been married while the Dax symbiont was joined to a male host and the Kahn symbiont was joined with a different female host. No character in the episode makes an issue of Jadzia's and Lenara's genders; in fact, Major Kira doesn't understand why the two of them can't become involved until Dr. Bashir explains the Trill taboo to her.

"The Emperor's New Cloak" (DS9)
The mirror universe counterpart of Trill female Ezri Dax referred to as Ezri Tigan (Nicole de Boer) was involved in sexual and romantic relationship with alternate Kira Nerys, even sharing an on-screen kiss between the two women. Additionally, Ezri flirts with alternate Leeta with sexually suggestive language at the end of the episode before exiting off-screen together. Even alternate Brunt remarks that he's "not her type" and that "when it comes to men, she's... particular."

"Stigma" (ENT)
In recognition of World AIDS Day, UPN aired an episode with some social commentary about the ills of mistreating people living with HIV/AIDS. The episode "Stigma" (2003) revealed that the Vulcan named T'Pol (played by Jolene Blalock) had become infected with a disease from a forced mind meld. The Vulcans who engage in mind melding and are infected with this disease are reviled outcasts in Vulcan society. Along with the episode's social commentary on the AIDS pandemic, bits of dialogue do, albeit broadly, address the issue of sexuality-based discrimination. Captain Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), criticizes the Vulcan society for having this prejudice based on a "disagreement" over how someone conducts their private life. When a Vulcan doctor (Lee Spencer) essentially "comes out" as a member of the mind-melding community, his brief speech is similar to the one made in the Outcast Next Generation episode.

"Choose Your Pain" (DIS)

The 2017 episode centers largely around the capture and rescue of Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) from the Klingons. Due the dire situation and the crew's failing attempts to perfect the method of using the spore-drive to quickly transport through the galaxy, Lieutenant Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) uses himself to transport the ship. The episode ends with Stamets and his partner Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz) brushing their teeth and talking about the emotional effects of Stamets' choice on Culber, creating a moment in which their relationship is made known to viewers. This marks the first occasion on which a Star Trek television series acknowledges and confirms a same-sex relationship.

Other examples[edit]

Outside Star Trek canon[edit]

Instructions for authors that had previously wished to write officially licensed Star Trek spin-off books stated that there was to be no suggestion of a relationship "other than friendship" between crew members,[30] but this restriction no longer applies.

In a seeming response to reams of Kirk/Spock fan fiction which began to dominate fan publications in the mid- to late 1970s, references to bisexuality occurred in Gene Roddenberry's 1979 novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In a foreword written by James Kirk, the Captain cleverly avoids confirmation or denial of a romantic relationship with Spock.[31]

Fan response[edit]

In 1972, Grup, the first sexually themed Star Trek zine was published, to controversy in the fandom. In 1974 the first "publicly published" Star Trek slash fiction was presented in Grup #3.[32] Kirk/Spock fan fiction was the first prominent slash pairing.[33]

In 2000, a group of Star Trek fans created their own low budget Star Trek series, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, and aired the episodes online. The series has included some gay crew members.

When Star Trek: Voyager came to air, fans created the "Voyager Visibility Project" in an effort to persuade the series to have one of its crew-members established as having a gay or bisexual orientation.

In 2008, Star Trek: Phase II released a two-part episode adapted from David Gerrold's "Blood and Fire". It introduced two gay crew members into the cast. Ens. Peter Kirk, Captain Kirk's nephew, is depicted as being deeply in love with Lt. Alex Freeman, and the two plan to marry.[34]

In 2005 Craig Young of criticized the absence of any out core or supporting lesbian or gay characters from the various television series and films, although granting that the series was more inclusive of transgender issues through the narrative use of the Trill species and non-consecutive gender symbiosis. He argued that the continued invisibility and absence of such characters may well have led to growing rejection of the Trek franchise and spin-off media by gay and lesbian Trekkers. He compared it unfavourably to series like Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Babylon 5.[35]

The fan made Star Trek: The Web Comic, started in 2014, has published two story lines featuring LGBT characters. The first serial, "No Good Deed", involves an affair between the male captain and first officer. Science Fiction news site Io9's review of the comic said it tread ground the franchise rarely did, stating: "What's especially refreshing is that [Captain Madison's] homosexuality is a part of his character, but not a focus of the plot."[36] The third serial, "Peace in Our Time" stars a lesbian couple. reported the comic was "doing real justice to the concept of IDIC."[37]

Reproduction and Sexuality in Star Trek[edit]

Some Star Trek plots introduce species that have sex, gender, or sexual identities outside the gender binary and cisnormativity associated with humans. Agendered, monogendered, bigendered, trigendered, and pangendered species, each with unique or uncommon sexual reproductive methods, have been portrayed as having distinctly non-human assignment of reproductive responsibilities.

Species with alternative genders[edit]

A notable example is that of an Enterprise episode titled "Cogenitor". In the episode, the Enterprise crews meets a new tri-gendered alien race, and finds out that, according to T'Pol, "tri-gendered reproduction is not uncommon" in the Star Trek galaxy. The "neutral" gender of which the cogenitor is a part produces an enzyme necessary for males and females to reproduce. Despite the crucial function the cogenitor performs, it lives in conditions Tucker believes are akin to slavery. His struggles to get the cogenitor to understand that it can have a more independent life meet with some success, but ultimately the imposition of human, dual-gendered attitudes on the situation merely serve to throw the cogenitor into mental chaos. It ends up committing suicide at the end of the episode.

Androgynous species have been seen in Star Trek as well, as evidenced by "The Outcast". The people featured in the episode are a single-sex species who find distinctions of gender inappropriate. There are also a number of instances in which a species' androgyny has a less central role to the plot, as with the Axanar of the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Fight or Flight".

Another Enterprise episode, "Unexpected", introduced the Xyrillian. They were a species who separated the functions of reproduction differently from most dual-gendered species. Males had no role in conception but were responsible for pregnancy and childbirth. The fertilized egg was transferred to their bodies in a way that did not appear sexual to humans. Commander Tucker thus became involved in the first inter-species pregnancy in the Star Trek narrative chronology. He was, according to T'Pol, also the first human male to become pregnant.

Trill sexuality is complicated. Although Trill hosts clearly are a part of a dual-gendered species, the gender of the symbionts, and indeed their method of reproduction, has never been made explicit. Joined Trill that have bonded with male and female hosts have some commonality with transgender humans, but are the precise opposite of the species in "The Outcast". They are pansexual, with clear memories of what it is like to have been the opposite gender, or to have had a different sexual orientation. Sanctions are shown to be in place against "reassociation" of a symbiont with lovers of a previous host. Symbionts in a new host are encouraged to cut off any contact with an old familiar life, be it lovers, families or friends. Trill society emphasizes variety of lovers, and not gender, as the matter of highest sexual relevancy.

In the TOS episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" Dr. McCoy describes the tribbles as "bisexual". Further dialogue establishes that tribbles are hermaphroditic: possessing male and female sexual characteristics, and are born pregnant.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kay, Jonathan (June 30, 2001). "Gay 'Trek'". Salon.
  2. ^ Nichelle Nichols, Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories, G.P. Putnam & Sons New York, 1994. pp. 195-198
  3. ^ "Nancy Sinatra Reminisces; Alan Dershowitz Talks About Justice; Hamilton Jordan Discusses Cancer; Lou Cannon Puts Reagan in Perspective". Larry King Live Weekend. CNN. June 17, 2000
  4. ^ Nichols, p. 195
  5. ^ "Harry Belafonte 'Speaking Freely' Transcript". First Amendment Center. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  6. ^ Nicholls, p. 195-196
  7. ^ Nichols, p. 196
  8. ^ a b Nichols, pp. 196-197
  9. ^ Nichols, p. 193
  10. ^ "Star Trek Novel Submission Guidelines - Resources". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  11. ^ Rothschild, Matthew (May 8, 2006). "George Takei, Mr. Sulu of Star Trek, Comes Out and Speaks Out". The Progressive.
  12. ^ "George Takei, 'Mr. Sulu,' says he's gay". Associated Press/NBC News. October 27, 2005.
  13. ^ "Zachary Quinto on His Financial Crisis Movie Margin Call, Playing the Villain, and Occupy Wall Street". New York. October 16, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  14. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (October 16, 2011). "Zachary Quinto Comes Out As Gay In New York Magazine". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  15. ^ David Alexander (March–April 1991). "Interview of Gene Roddenberry: Writer, Producer, Philosopher, Humanist". The Humanist. Archived from the original on July 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
  16. ^ Ruth Rosen (October 30, 1991). "'Star Trek' Is on Another Bold Journey". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
  17. ^ Nemecek, Larry. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion. Second Edition. 1992 Pocket Books. p. 194
  18. ^ Jensen, Michael (October 7, 2008). "Scoop on "Virtuality", the first U.S. science fiction series to include gay characters" Archived 2011-12-06 at the Wayback Machine. AfterElton.
  19. ^ D. Sinclair (October 19, 2003). "Supportive Comments by Voyager Actors". Archived from the original on March 17, 2005.
  20. ^ Andy Scahill (August 8, 2002). "A Brand New Voyage". Out in America. Retrieved 2006-07-20.
  21. ^ Gay "Trek" Archived 2010-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Brannon Braga on Star Trek's Lack of Gay Characters: "Not a Forward Thinking Decision" Archived 2011-01-28 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Gay Star Trek Character? J.J. Abrams Promises AfterElton He'll Explore The Possibility For Next Film". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  24. ^ Liptak, Andrew (7 July 2016). "Hikaru Sulu will be the first openly gay character in the Star Trek film franchise". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Gerrold, David (September 12, 2014). "Exclusive: David Gerrold Talks Frankly About TNG Conflicts With Roddenberry & Berman + JJ-Trek & more" (Interview). Interviewed by Brian Drew. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  27. ^ Jon G. Wagner, Jan Lundeen, Deep Space and Sacred Time: Star Trek in the American Mythos, Published by Praeger, 1998, ISBN 0-275-96225-3, page 96
  28. ^ a b "Gay Star Trek Timeline". Gay League. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009.
  29. ^ Mark A. Altman (October 1992). "Tackling Gay Rights". Cinefantastique. Archived from the original on 2005-03-17.
  30. ^ Stein, Atara. "Minding One's P's and Q's: Homoeroticism in Star Trek: The Next Generation." Archived 2008-09-30 at the Wayback Machine Genders 27 1998.
  31. ^ Gran, Judith. "The Footnote". Retrieved January 7, 2013. Originally posted at alt.startrek.creative, December 4, 1997
  32. ^ Simca, Boyd, Kelly (1 January 2001). ""One index finger on the mouse scroll bar and the other on my clit" : slash writers' views on pornography, censorship, feminism and risk". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  33. ^ David Seed Ed., A Companion to Science Fiction, "Science Fiction/Criticism" p. 57, ISBN 1-4051-1218-2
  34. ^ Blood and Fire Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine at the Star Trek: Phase 2 website, page found 2011-05-06.
  35. ^ Young, Craig "Closetry: The Final Frontier?" Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine. February 19, 2005
  36. ^ GarySebben (June 9, 2014). "Star Trek Web Comic Boldly Goes Where Trek Traditionally Hasn't".
  37. ^ Mark Martinez (January 14, 2015). "TrekInk: Review of Star Trek: The Webcomic".

Further reading[edit]

  • Greven, David (2009). Gender and Sexuality in Star Trek: Allegories of Desire in the Television Series and Films. McFarland Publishers. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-7864-4413-7.
  • Shaw, Debra Bonita (2006). "Sex and the Single Starship Captain: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Star Trek: Voyager". Femspec. 7 (1): 66–85.
  • Aul, Billie (Autumn 2002). "Prisoners of Dogma and Prejudice: Why There Are no G/L/B/T Characters in Star Trek: Deep Space 9". Foundation: the International Review of Science Fiction. 31 (86): 51–64.
  • Good Sex and Star Trek: Where Few Women Have Gone before By: Putnam, Amanda. pp. 171–86 IN: Malcolm, Cheryl Alexander (ed. and introd.); Nyman, Jopi (ed. and introd.); Ickstadt, Heinz (foreword); eros.usa: Essays on the Culture and Literature of Desire. Gdansk, Poland: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Gdanskiego; 2005.
  • GenerAsians: Transgressive Sexuality and Transformations of Identity By: Dariotis, Wei Ming; Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2001 May; 61 (11): 4384. U of California, Santa Barbara, 2000.
  • Bick, Ilsa J. (Winter 1996). "Boys in Space: Star Trek, Latency, and the Neverending Story". Cinema Journal. 35 (2): 43–60. doi:10.2307/1225755. JSTOR 1225755.
  • Joyrich, Lynne (Winter 1996). "Feminist Enterprise? Star Trek: The Next Generation and the Occupation of Femininity". Cinema Journal. Society for Cinema &#38. 35 (2): 61–84. doi:10.2307/1225756. JSTOR 1225756.
  • Golumbia, David (1995–1996). "Black and White World: Race, Ideology, and Utopia in Triton and Star Trek". Cultural Critique. 32 (0): 75–95.
  • Lamb, Patricia Frazer. “Romantic Myth, Transcendence, and Star Trek Zines”, in Erotic Universe: Sexuality and Fantastic Literature, ed. Donald Palumbo. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1986, pp. 235–55.
  • Cranny-Francis, Anne (November 1985). "Sexuality and Sex-Role Stereotyping in Star Trek". Science-Fiction Studies. 12 (3 [37]): 274–284.

External links[edit]