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George Takei: Now Is Time For LGBT Character In Star Trek + Tried To Convince Roddenberry

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George Takei has revealed that he tried to convince Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to add a gay character to the TOS movies. More details below.

Takei Talks LGBT and Star Trek

Star Trek introduced the concept of “Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations” and was lauded for breaking barriers in terms of gender and race from it’s beginnings in the 1960s, but to date it still has not introduced a LGBT character. In a new interview with PrideSource, Star Trek’s original Sulu, George Takei, says he thinks the time is right, and he went on to say that he tried to convince Gene Roddenberry to do it decades ago. Here is the exchange…

PrideSource: Do you think we’ll ever see an out LGBT human on “Star Trek”?

Takei: I think now it’s high time. I did very quietly bring up the subject to Gene Roddenberry when we were starting our movie series – our feature film series – and he said with television he had to walk a very tight rope. You know, we were dealing with issues at that time – the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Cold War – and that episode where Kirk kissed Uhura, a white man kissing a black woman, that was blacked out in all of the Southern states: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Our ratings plummeted!

(Gene) said he knows that the LGBT issue is a civil rights issue, but he had to keep the show on the air as a television series, and if he pushed the envelope too far he wouldn’t be able to address any of the issues. He’d be canceled. Same thing with feature films now: bigger budget, higher risk. And he had said he’s predicating a 23rd century when the LGBT issue would not be an issue, but it is an issue of our times that we’re dealing with metaphorically in terms of science fiction and he wants to deal with it and still be able to make movies. He had said he hopes for the time that he will be able to do it.

Alas, Gene passed. It was in ’91 that he passed, and we’re 20 years-plus from that time. We’ve advanced with unimagined speed, and I think now it is high time “Star Trek” deal with the issue of LGBT equality. Now there are “Star Trek” actors who are out. Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the reboot, came out, and I am out. With the two of us out, it is now safe for “Star Trek” to deal with LGBT equality.

takei
Takei at Seattle Pride Parade July 10, 2014 – actor says time is now for LGBT character in “Star Trek”

The issue of introducing an LGBT character into Trek been debated for a long time. In 1987 “Trouble With Tribbles” writer David Gerrold tried to break the barrier with an episode titled “Blood and Fire” for the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation but it was rejected due to the controversial nature – leading to Gerrold leaving the show (he would eventually use a reworked version the script for the fan series Star Trek Phase II). The possibility came up again a decade later during the later seasons of Star Trek Voyager, but again it never made it to air. By the time the franchise went off the air in 2005, gay characters had become common on network TV, which may be why writer/producer Brannon Braga has since expressed regret over how Trek was not “forward thinking” on this issue.

As for the new movie era, director/producer JJ Abrams actually expressed surprise that Trek never had a gay character and said he was open to it, but it didn’t happen in either Star Trek or Into Darkness. For his part writer and expected director of the next Star Trek film has also said he would like to see it happen.

Trekking Around The Issue

While Star Trek has not had an explicitly gay character (in filmed canon), the franchise has skirted around LGBT and gender issues in a number of episodes. For example, TNG’s “The Outcast” had an androgynous race that shunned anyone who expressed one gender of the other. The below scene shows the allegorical nature of plot, dealing with acceptance of gender identity.

And the symbiotic Trill race has offered the opportunity to explore the issue. In the TNG episode “The Host,” Beverly Crusher falls in love with a male Trill, but after he dies and the symbiont is transplanted into a female host, Beverly ends the relationships because she felt her ability to love was was too “limited.” A similar situation happened in the reverse in the Deep Space Nine episode “Rejoined” when Jadzia Dax was re-united with an ex-lover who was now in a female host. The show portrays rekindling relationships with new hosts as taboo in Trill society, but Jadzia and the now female Lenara can’t fight it and kiss.

There are more examples, including the bi-sexual version of Kira Nerys in Deep Space Nine’s mirror universe.  And of course DS9’s Quark had some experience with gender re-assignment surgery in the light-hearted episode “Profit and Lace.” Enterprise also ventured into LGBT territory with a more serious approach, with the allegory storyline about the 22nd century Vulcan taboo on mind-melders and how some contract a fatal (AIDS-like) disease.

So Star Trek has got close, but has yet to cross that line.

POLL: Is it time?

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[poll id=”731″]

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SmittyTrek
July 13, 2014 4:16 am

Here’s my question, and I’ll probably get slammed for this…is there a ‘need’ for a gay character, or is just putting one in there the purpose?

AL
July 13, 2014 4:27 am

I don’t see an issue with it at all. People are human first. All this crap about sexuality. High time the world grew up. Star Trek should’ve been thed first to break ground with this.

Paul
July 13, 2014 4:42 am

Homosexuality is mainstream these days. Nearly omnipresent in the contemporary media. Commonplace. Boring. No longer interesting.

Star Trek is famous for breaking the borders, not for doing stuff everyone else already did.

Eodeon
July 13, 2014 4:46 am

Takei is wrong about one thing. Now isn’t the highest time. That was twenty years ago. Now seems more like too late. But better late than never, so yes, of course it would be good to see this probably the greatest flaw of Star Trek finally patched in the next movie, though I don’t believe that would happen. I predict that more “pragmatic” approach will prevail in the end as far as this topic is concerned (no, “issue” is not the word), as always. And after all, since the release of fan episode “Blood and Fire” on Phase 2 I consider it “patched” already, since it seems no less professional than any given official episode and it’s extremely well written.

Richard Blanchard
July 13, 2014 4:52 am

I am a gay man, and I think shoe-horning an LGBT character into a storyline is ridiculous. Andy Mangels took an on-screen movie character and gave him a background as a gay man in an accepted and loving relationship in one of his Section 31 books, and it was great. It felt natural and organic to the plot of the novel.

They could just show something like that so that we see how natural it is.

KNorked
July 13, 2014 5:39 am

I hope so, I’m sick of the heterosexual agenda in all the Star Trek TV shows and movies ;)

Pro gay Trek
July 13, 2014 6:30 am

@SmittyTrek – I will counter your thought with this.

Is there a “need” for a straight character?

I think the best practice is to make a gay charactor or couple but not focus on it. Like everyone is saying, it’s normal now. So just have a charactor and maybe there’s just a scene where they are having a couples dinner and just leave it at that. No need for a romance though because I feel it would create unneeded spectical. Unless it was a cutaway scene like Kirk and the cats. Romance in scifi with almost always ruin the movie for me.

CmdrR
July 13, 2014 6:55 am

IF it makes sense, fine.
PLEASE do not stop the action of the movie to show a gay kiss. Something subtle would do just fine. You know how Trekkies pick apart every detail.
Blood and Fire with the gay love scene was just too much, IMHO.
Anyway, I really don’t think gay characters are a “thing” anymore. Those barriers are down, thanks to the ever hungry-for-shock-or-novelty network TV. “Modern Starfleet” would just seem like another copy.

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 7:07 am

#1 Smittytrek

“is there a ‘need’ for a gay character, or is just putting one in there the purpose?”

I think we view this upside down. As Robert Kennedy said, “Some ask why, I ask why not?”

Thus, there should have been LBGT characters all along, organically fitting in as other crew members fit in.

But there were not.

This does not mean, therefore, that we must not “shoehorn” them in. Better late than never to correct this discrimination, so write them into Trek nufilms and whatever other Trek endeavors, as organically as possible.

Then soon it will be simply natural as all sexual aspects of Trek always have been. And the characters will be simply trek characters, unique and often intriguing.

I suppose the problem is, the writing is not great on the nufilms in general. Thus an organic assimilation might not seem as graceful and as well-done as if nutrek had better writing.

Ryan
July 13, 2014 7:24 am

Takei is one self-absorbed persona. He bashes past co-workers when he has the chance, makes a big deal out of Khan being played by yes, a white Brit, and it’s non-stop, in your face “LGBT” agenda.

Let me say this, my best friend since the age of 7 is gay, and not only does he not carry on and on and on and on about his beliefs, he also feels Mr. Takei just goes way overboard with this agenda, etc. This “in your face” stuff gets unbelievably carried away. It’s OK to have different beliefs, that’s what Trek was about, but when someone takes it to an extreme it loses its luster in my opinion.

Lastly, interviewing him years ago was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had interviewing someone over the phone– he was rude, pompous, and simply not understanding in the least bit as I’d just returned from an overseas deployment.

Nuff said.

Curious Cadet
July 13, 2014 7:33 am
@1. SmittyTrek, “is there a ‘need’ for a gay character, or is just putting one in there the purpose?” Why would you get slammed for that? Perfectly legitimate. There is no NEED for a gay character, or a black one, or a female one. The color and gender of a character only matters depending on what you need the characters to do. If you need a love interest for Kirk, then you have to decide whether he’s gay or straight and create accordingly. But Uhura and Sulu are examples of characters that did not need to be black or Asian, but instead the purpose was just putting one in there. Just like Chekov didn’t need to be Russian. The point was putting one in there. So the point is likewise putting a gay character in there, to reflect the diversity and tolerance of the future of our society in the grand tradition of Trek, and help open doors for social injustices that plague us today. Considering gay marriage as a civil right is at the forefront of social politics today, now is the perfect time to introduce such characters, just as it was for a black, Asian and Russian character 50 years ago. The problem with a gay character is it isn’t obvious what you’re doing. When they made Number One a woman in The Cage, it was obvious what they’d done — to the horror of the network, they put a woman in a top level position. Outside of… Read more »
Daniel
July 13, 2014 7:57 am

That scene from “The Outcast” is powerful stuff. “The Host” also dealt with the issue in a powerful way. I’m open to a gay character in Star Trek but it should serve some meaningful purpose.

Scottamer
July 13, 2014 8:05 am

I do not think that making a big deal about a gay character would fit into Star Trek at this time when this topic is so mainstream. It would feel forced. However, I think a small allusion to the new Sulu being open to both sexes would be kind of fun and an interesting tribute to George Takei without taking the established heterosexual nature away from the Sulu character. I could imagine a rather fun, slightly naughty scene with the new Sulu making a comment about a person or relationship that suggests he is bisexual.

Lemingsworth Bint
July 13, 2014 8:16 am

They could do it in a summer blockbuster if they’re a bit subtle with it. For a tv series, they could be as blatant as they want.

dswynne
July 13, 2014 8:20 am

I thought Lt. Hawke (from “Star Trek: First Contact”) was suppose to be the gay character? And isn’t Dax (from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) suppose to be “omni-sexual”? Anyway, if an official gay character is introduced, it most likely will be female, since seeing two females kissing is not as threatening as two males kissing. In fact, it’s more or less a fetish for a lot of straight males in American society.

It’s interesting that this subject has been brought up before, and the usual answer as to why they are not any homosexual characters in Star Trek is due to the Eugenics War (circa 1990s), which wiped out “undesirables”, including homosexuals, by Augments and other fascists. But that’s just fan speculation, and nothing more. Hopefully, if a gay character is introduced, he or she will not be relegated to being a stereotype, which is also a problem when depicting minority and women characters in television and film.

Thorny
July 13, 2014 8:25 am

Richard… was that Malcolm Reed?

Themanle1
July 13, 2014 8:40 am

I think there should be a gay character, but it would be great if it was handled in a way that doesn’t really bring attention to it in a negative or obvious way. For example, in an interview with Patrick Stewart about his bald head, someone asked why he had a bald head. They believed that they would have fixed baldness in the future. He replied by saying, that in the future, nobody would care. Nobody would care about it, and that we have evolved past such things. It would be great if in the next film the same kind of thing happened. They don’t have to make a big thing of the LGBT subject, just acknowledge that we have moved past it being an issue, and move on. Maybe they are in the lounge of the enterprise, playing 3D chess in a scene, relaxing, and there is a gay couple enjoying a drink. Kirk could look over as he walked in the room, saw them, and moved on, I don’t think this should be the issue that it is.

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 9:04 am

As I said before but apparently the comment was deleted or lost???
As Robert Kennedy said, “Some ask why, I ask, why not?”

So it is not a matter of “why” “shoehorn-in” a LGBT character(s), it is a matter of:

This should have been done years ago, but as George T. explains, there were reasons why not, like staying on the air.

Now, good writing (if it can exist) will bring in LGBT characters naturally, organically, on the Enterprise. Star Trek always has had a natural way of dealing with human sexuality, but this philosophy needs to be expanded to include all.

If it turns out to be awkward, it is because of bad writing but even at that, LGBT characters should be introduced and then can “settle in better” in the next installment of Trek.

sad
July 13, 2014 9:32 am

Gene never had a gay character in trek because Gene believed homosexuality was wrong. it is plain and simple.

Also I am tired of Hollywood’s gay agenda. why do they keep pushing and forcing homosexuality on people?

men and women were created to be compatible with each other.

the fact that George wants a gay character for the sake of it is ridiculous.

Homosexuality is wrong and is a sin before our creator who made us male and female for compatibility, to grow and to reproduce.

July 13, 2014 7:29 pm

Sad

Warning for trolling. You cannot disparage a group nor speak for GR

CmdrR
July 13, 2014 9:36 am

3 – Yep. Let’s hit em with hot Kirk-on-Gorn BDSM.

CmdrR
July 13, 2014 9:38 am

I had another comment, but it’s gone now.

Was saying it should be something that’s just there… not something that distracts from the main plot. And NO, don’t make one of the main characters LBGT, because that is not who they’ve been for 50 years.

Mainly, this issue is a non-issue. “Modern Family” beat Trek to it. “Modern Starfleet” would seem like a gimic.

Trekboi
July 13, 2014 9:44 am

It’s Simple, Straight People.
YOU are in Star Trek, YOU have a Place in Genes Vision of Star Trek’s 23/24th centuries so YOU don’t get it.
I am GAY, I want to see myself in that future, just like African Americans like Whopee Goldberg did & Asian people did & hell, the Russians probably did before Chekov ect ect.

It’s not about a GAY Storyline or even character, there only has to be one line somewhere to establish it.
They could have done that in The Outcast or Cogenator or Rejoined or the other trill episode, just stating that humanity has homosexuals & they once had similar issues in the Past.
it’s about having a presence- having GAY people in the future.
WE are 10 Percent of the population- How many crews have we seen of all Straight Characters?

Not having any LGBT Characters is like Saying it was a problem that was fixed, or an illness that was cured on the way to genes utopia.
NO we should be included as Part of it
That is a unconscionable suggestion.
WTF?

Trekboi
July 13, 2014 9:51 am

8. IDIC Lives! – July 13, 2014

Your right, we shouldn’t be justifying why- it’s a matter of Why Not.

WalkingAlmostDead
July 13, 2014 9:58 am

Wait. What? You mean Kirk and Spock aren’t gay after all? Seriously, I have nothing against introducing gay characters into the Star Trek Universe, and this is coming from a disillusioned fan. I think they should have done that with Sulu in the reboot, as a tribute to Takei, in his iconic role. Homosexuality is not going away. It’s a fact. It does not need any justification. You don’t have to like, there are lots of things we all don’t like, just don’t fight against it. It’s a fruitless battle, that makes you unhappy. Damn, now I have to google what LGBT means. Showing my age here.

@ 9. CmdrR – Ouch!

Captain Smithwell
July 13, 2014 10:37 am

Wasn’t the power of having Uhura as a bridge officer the fact that no one ever pointed out that she was black? The strength of the show was that they lived in the future where humanity has learned that all people were equal. They never did an episode that pointed out that Uhura was black as a plot point because it would’ve defeated the purpose. Even the famous groundbreaking “kiss” never was an issue in the show. Kirk kissing Uhura was entirely unremarkable to those characters.

Why does everyone seem to think that there has never been a gay Starfleet officer just because we haven’t seen one kissing another on screen? Is it so hard for people now to accept equality without having it explicitly pointed out? I haven’t looked expressly for it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if even in the first season of TNG you could find two male Starfleet officers holding hands in the background of a shot as they walked down a corridor. Trek has always had that ethos.

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 10:45 am

#3Paul,

“Star Trek is famous for breaking the borders, not for doing stuff everyone else already did.”
*************************************
Sexual preference is not “stuff somebody already did,” it is–human beings have the right of sexual preference, now and in the future.

NuTrek sure isn’t famous for breaking any borders or setting any heights. But that’s another subject–

NX01
July 13, 2014 11:42 am

You know MR. SULU the character was not gay. George is gay, good for George. I feel this issue is constantly being rammed down our throat.
Star Trek is almost 50 years old, which means you have an older community that is not comfortable with LGBT. You risk alienating that audience.
Why do we have to keep bringing LGBT issues into star trek.
That is not what star trek is about.

July 13, 2014 11:53 am

It would be SO easy to have this in the next movie without its being a big deal. They’re going off on a dangerous mission, and Uhura kisses Spock, Carol Marcus kisses Kirk, and some guy — maybe Chekov? — kisses Sulu. All the partners are worried about their lover going on the dangerous mission, and they all express it in exactly the same way. It doesn’t have to be a big, close-up moment, just a shot of all three at once being kissed — two straight, one gay — before they walk onto the transporter platform.

Curious Cadet
July 13, 2014 12:10 pm

@13. Scottamer,
“I think a small allusion to the new Sulu being open to both sexes would be kind of fun and an interesting tribute to George Takei without taking the established heterosexual nature away from the Sulu character.”

Not being argumentative, but seriously where was Sulu ever established as heterosexual? I don’t recall a single moment where he even looked at a woman, much less dated one.

___________________
@25. Captain Smithwell
“They never did an episode that pointed out that Uhura was black as a plot point because it would’ve defeated the purpose.”

They made a big deal out of it in the Lincoln episode.

____________________
@27. NX01,
“Why do we have to keep bringing LGBT issues into star trek. That is not what star trek is about.”

Wrong. That is what Star Trek is all about. Not specifically LGBT issues, but what those issues represent in our society. That group is oppressed and being denied essential civil liberties worldwide. Uganda makes being homosexual punishable by death. NOW more than ever Star Trek NEEDS to show a future where the LGBT community is not a subsection of society, but rather an equal part of that society, without the need to be organized into such groups as necessary today to fight for basic human rights guaranteed to most heterosexuals throughout the world. THIS is at the core of Trek’s philosophy.

Jemini
July 13, 2014 12:22 pm

spock and uhura’s baby could be a gay man or a transgender person and captain a future enterprise in a new series or movies

( whoa I put two gutsy things in one shot LOL I’m impressed)

Jemini
July 13, 2014 12:39 pm
didn’t JJ said that one of their ideas for stid that they couldn’t use was something about implying the sexuality of one of the characters? I wonder what he meant but I assumed he was talking about Scotty, Sulu, Chekov and McCoy as in the article they mentioned that, so far, only S/U have some space for personal stuff but perhaps the writers had ideas for the other characters too and hoped to implement those too in future movies. I think it all depends on the way a story is structured. The second movie for example was massively focused on Kirk and I didn’t like it Even Spock, who seemed to be his equal protagonist in the first movie, seems to get HARDLY the chance to have scenes that are just about him and if you don’t read the comics you might not even truly get all the nuances of that scene between him and Uhura and why she was angry. Plus, what happened to Vulcan is too much ignored. I get that they might If you think about that, then how could the other characters get any character development if even one of the supposed protagonists didn’t get the time to fully deal with his personal arc? There are so many characters and it’s difficult to introduce new ones now when you hardly have the time to develop the existing characters. For example, while I’m glad to have one more female character (Carol) I’m also worried about her being… Read more »
mikey1701A
July 13, 2014 12:46 pm

I’m a gay man and I think while it would be nice to include an LGBT character in to Trek, I don’t want one shoe horned in for the sake of political correctness. Ive seen the Blood And Fire Phase II episode as well as a lot of the Hidden Frontier series and the LGBT stories just seem to put in for no other reason than an excuse to go “look, we have gay characters, how controversial!”. The love scene in Blood And Fire was so uncomfortable for that very reason.

Cygnus-X1
July 13, 2014 12:46 pm
I would have phrased the poll differently. For me, it’s not an issue of whether or not there should be a gay character in the movie. If the writers happen to come up with a great character who happens to be gay, then that’s great. Of course, that character would be an asset to the movie. But simply being gay does not make a character interesting any more than simply being straight makes a character interesting. And with all of the difficulties and constrictions of making a feature film, shoe-horning in characters for the sake of diversity is only going to make it that much more difficult to make a good movie. In a TV series, it’s easier. You can have gay episodes and gay characters, as has been done. I’d forgotten about the Mirror Universe bisexual Kira—another good example of a character whose sexuality served the character well. But of all the characters in Trek TV and movies—crew, admirals, aliens, etc…—sexuality is not a relevant issue for the vast majority of them. Admiral Nechayev doesn’t introduce herself with, “Hi, I’m Admiral Nechayev and I’m in a committed lesbian relationship.” Her sexuality is not a relevant issue. This does not imply the character to be straight (or gay). If you’re gay, it might be super cool for you to see someone like you on the screen—Hey, look! That character is gay like me! I’m gay and so is he! Now I feel validated as a person!—but if you’re straight, it’s… Read more »
Keachick (Rose)
July 13, 2014 12:49 pm

I do not see why a brief scene could not be shown of a gay couple holding hands, giving each other a goodbye, welcome home kiss, whatever, just as we might see heterosexual couples do in the same circumstances. It is doable, just as other stories are doable, given the will and imagination and open mindedness of audiences.

I think part of the problem is that many object to seeing any kind of PDA – look at the furore some made over Uhura giving Spock a simple kiss when they arrived back safely from Kronos. There were actually people objecting to that brief scene on this site.

The antagonism is already there among many (at least on this site) towards anything that shows humans relating to others in any way that is physically affectionate.

Hell, given the negative attitudes expressed about nuTrek, it is not even safe to be Out as a heterosexual, let alone be Out as a gay, in a minority.

Trekboi
July 13, 2014 12:57 pm

19. sad – July 13, 2014

Yes, you are a Sad.

29. Curious Cadet – July 13, 201

Thankyou

27. NX01 – July 13, 2014

You have no idea what Star Trek is about.

Gene DID not have a problem with Homosexuality & he DID want a Gay Character in Next Gen but he lost control of the series due to illness & didn’t do everything with it that he wanted.

How dare you insult his memeory by associating him with your Homophobic rubbish.

27. NX01 – July 13, 2014

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 1:07 pm

What are you on about, Keachick?

You grossly and on purpose, mis-state what has been discussed and explained to you over and over and over regarding relationships in STID.

One more time: It is not the relationships objected to, it is the incredibly bad timing of them, such as the lovers’ heart to heart in the Mudd shuttle. Ridiculous timing! Bad writing, takes the viewer out of the film. Kerplunk.

You certainly have the right to disagree, but you have no right to mis-state what others have meticulously outlined for you regarding their/our opinion. You purposely mis-state over and over again.

Why are you magnanimously giving the gay couple a “brief scene”? Freudian slip? Let’s not give them too much eh?

Ahmed
July 13, 2014 1:18 pm

I think the writers should be focusing on writing a good story, first & foremost. They should not include a character just to appease to certain groups. Bryan Singer is gay, yet he didn’t include gay characters in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Harry Ballz
July 13, 2014 1:19 pm

Keachick, tell me, if someone is “in” and another person “outs” them, does the “in” person have every right to be………(wait for it)………OUTRAGED?

(runs and hides)

Cygnus-X1
July 13, 2014 1:31 pm
34. Keachick (Rose) – July 13, 2014 I do not see why a brief scene could not be shown of a gay couple holding hands, giving each other a goodbye, welcome home kiss, whatever, just as we might see heterosexual couples do in the same circumstances. It is doable, just as other stories are doable, given the will and imagination and open mindedness of audiences. Sure, it’s doable. But that alone wouldn’t make the characters interesting or necessarily justify their inclusion in movie so pressed for time that it can’t even cut away from the wall-to-wall action for an extra minute or two in order to develop a meaningful theme. The Trek has been largely taken out of Trek in accordance with Paramount’s global market research results. If the foreign market doesn’t even want Trek in their Trek, do you really think they’re going to want a gratuitous gay scene? I think part of the problem is that many object to seeing any kind of PDA – look at the furore some made over Uhura giving Spock a simple kiss when they arrived back safely from Kronos. There were actually people objecting to that brief scene on this site. I actually agree with you here. I wasn’t among those who objected, but I could have done without that whole sappy scene in the turbolift. Love scenes work better if you build up to them as opposed to just sandwiching them in briefly between non-love scenes. I have a hard time… Read more »
Nony
July 13, 2014 2:02 pm

There are opportunities everywhere. Take the last movie – the parents of the sick little girl could have both been women, for instance, and it wouldn’t have affected the plot whatsoever. In the bar, the girl giving Kirk a flirtatious look could have been a guy instead, and if you don’t want to imply anything about Kirk’s preferences, he could just have smiled and indicated he was politely declining the guy’s advances. You could have a flash of a same-sex couple walking hand-in-hand down the street as Spock and Harrikhan run by, or dancing together in the background in the club where Scotty and Keenser are drinking. Nobody needs to be shoehorned in. They just need to exist.

The Keeper
July 13, 2014 2:52 pm

Actually I see no urgent need for adding a gay character at this time.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the best people I’ve dated have been gay.
How ever, above all that I think we should aim our collective efforts in getting Paramount to dismiss Orci then hire decent writers and a skilled director.

Just saying.

Ahmed
July 13, 2014 3:00 pm
There is little to no chance that a Star Trek movie will feature a gay character in any prominent role, and the reason for that is the international market. More than ever, Hollywood blockbusters depend on the Chinese & Russian markets which bring in more tickets than the domestic market. Adding gay characters will be put the movie at risk of getting rejected by Chinese & Russian censorship boards. Forbes magazine ran an interesting story about this very issue. =============================== Why We Won’t See A Gay Spider-Man Anytime Soon By Scott Mendelson Andrew Garfield made headlines last week by mentioning in an interview that he A) wanted the chance to play Peter Parker as bisexual in the ongoing Amazing Spider-Man franchise and B) wanted “MJ” to be a guy, played by someone along the lines of Michael B. Jordan.[…] But Garfield’s heart, as well as his desire as an actor to explore, is in the right place. It’s also an outright fantasy that will never actually occur. No, it’s not just because America is still grappling with homophobia and Sony wouldn’t want to lose out on potentially gay-panicky Spidey fans in America. That doesn’t help, but the real obstacle for such a character change lies outside our shores. China is the second-largest box office terrain outside of America and it may well surpass America as the top market by around 2020. They only play 34 American movies in any given year. China has been the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in… Read more »
Chris Roberts
July 13, 2014 3:08 pm

“Don’t call me Tiny.”

Could Sulu have been gay in the Original Series?

The closest I come to is racking my brains is for any hetrosexual pursuit he might’ve shown.

The Mirror Universe is passable. His interest in Uhura could be bi.

In “Mudd’s Women”, it’s more Riley commenting on their attractive passengers and how their eyes follow him around the room. Sulu could just be agreeing with that, not that he necessarily reciprocates their attention.

In “The Naked Time” he’s drunk and Uhura as a fair maiden to rescue in his Three Musketeers fantasy couldn’t very well be a fella.

Unless I’ve missed anything onscreen, that leaves us with Star Trek Generations and Demora Sulu. He adopted or got involved in some 23rd Century surrogate pregnancy.

Chris Roberts
July 13, 2014 3:13 pm

The scene in The Motion Picture where Illa came onto Sulu got cut. It’s not in the Theatrical or Director’s IIRC… and only exists in the extended Tv version.

Question is, would John Cho be comfortable with a scene suggesting this?

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 3:32 pm
Nony, You are right. A token gay kiss in the background is a cop-out if that is all there is to be of “gay”. Sure dancing together in a night club in the background but–another token. There should be an actual character whom we know as much as time will allow, who is developed to a good degree, who is gay. NuTrek could use several new characters and not that droid guy with the “modem” in the back of his head. It might be effective if we got to know gay characters first as simply characters, and then in conclusion or a bit later, found out they are gay (perhaps even together as a couple?) All sorts of possibilities here that are not just BRIEF TOKEN couples in the background. These crew members should have been there all along in Star Trek, and now they simply will be (or should be). Cygnus X1 I didn’t object to the kiss when they arrived back safe from Kronos either. We did have the long discussion recently that Star Fleet officers should not get into deep emotional stuff while in a shuttle over Kronos, with the captain mumbling, “Hey, guys,” and no one pays any attention. That was right before the captain landed all those punches on Khan and didn’t even dent his check. Even genetically engineered people would have a soft cheek. Kahn was portrayed as Superman, not a genetically engineered human–but that’s another subject. Brave, good characters – who are gay… Read more »
July 13, 2014 3:33 pm

@40: Hear hear. I’m is gay as a three credit bill and I don’t need to have the next movie coming to a screeching halt just to shoehorn in something that, frankly, should have been done 25 years ago on TNG. The gay starship has sailed, and Star Trek missed the boat. Show something in the background, and be done with it. Themes like this are best explored on TV, and until Star Trek is back where belongs (on TV), putting a gay character front and center in the movie would be derided as pandering. Unfortunately.

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Chris Roberts,

In the theatrical release Star Trek 5, at the end, both Sulu and Chekov are following around the very tall, muscly Klingon woman, admiring her, until it turns out, she is walking to her Klingon boyfriend.

Does this count?

Nah–I don’t think it does.

Actually, I always assume Sulu is gay when I watch TOS or the films. But of course it is not stated.

IDIC Lives!
July 13, 2014 3:44 pm

According to what George Takei says, Roddenberry knew LBGT rights to be a civil rights issue but he simply could not risk bringing it up because he was trying to keep Trek on the air and was in trouble with the inter-racial kiss already.

I cannot imagine that Roddenberry would not have been for any group’s freedom to be who they are and to function in Star Fleet.

Ahmed
July 13, 2014 4:16 pm

@IDIC Lives! & Chris Roberts,

I think you guys are confusing the character Sulu with the actor who played him, George Takei. Hikaru Sulu has a daughter called Demora Sulu who appeared in Star Trek: Generations.

Takei: “It’s intriguing. I’d like to know how I had her. Who her mother is. That’s the thing about doing a long-lasting serialized film or TV series. You really are in the hands of the writers and the other molders and shapers of the series. You make your input and you hope for the best. In my case my input didn’t take too much during the time I was there and I’m so delighted to discover that I was so ultimately productive after the fact.”

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Demora_Sulu

john
July 13, 2014 4:26 pm

I’ve often heard Whoopi Goldberg talking about how she watched Star Trek when she was younger and it was the first rime she saw black people represented in the future. In her own words, she could see that yes, Black people had a future and it was an equal one.
As a gay man, I find it incredibly sad that as I was growing up and watching Star Trek tackling interesting a thought provoking taboo’s and topics weekly that never once was there a direct, straight-forward gay storyline tackled. I don’t personally view The Host or The Outcast or Rejoined as episodes that finally broke the mould. Those episodes were cloaked in metaphor etc. Star Trek has never once tackled the topic head on and I find that very, very sad. As a young gay man watching Star Trek, there was never any gay characters in space. As far as Star Trek goes, we simply do not exist, and for a franchise as progressive as it is, that simple fact is truly upsetting I find.
The time for Star Trek to be forward-thinking in this regard is well and truly gone. It’s 2014 and STILL there has been no important and significant LGBT character in Star Trek’s nearly 50 year history. That is a disgrace.
So is there a need for Star Trek to have an LGBT character any more? No is my answer now. Maybe 20 years ago, but again, that boat has sailed and everyone else has moved on it seems.

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