IDW To Highlight Trek’s LGBTQIA+ Characters In ‘Star Trek: Celebrations’ One Shot Comic

IDW continues to expand its Star Trek comic collection with the announcement of a brand new one-off title celebrating the diversity of the franchise.

Star Trek: Celebrations

Just in time for Pride Month this June, IDW is releasing Star Trek: Celebrations focusing on the LGBTQIA+ characters across the Star Trek franchise. Here is the official synopsis blurb for the new title:

Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate but to celebrate differences in ideas and differences in life forms.” —Gene Roddenberry

IDW proudly presents a one-shot anthology centering and celebrating LGBTQIA+ characters from across the Star Trek universe! Join legendary heroes from each era of the beloved franchise in stories that showcase the strengths of infinite diversity in infinite combinations, brought to you by a star-studded cast of writers and artists including Vita Ayala, Steve Orlando, Mags Visaggio, and more!

IDW editor Heather Antos previewed some of the storylines from the series with ScreenRant:

“It’s wanting to celebrate the badasses of the Star Trek universe, whether that’s Culber and Stamets, whether that’s Mariner, whether that’s Seven and Raffi… there’s so many characters that we’re going to get to see explored here by some incredible, incredible writers.”

And here is the cover by artist Paulina Ganucheau…

Star Trek: Celebrations cover

Star Trek: Celebrations arrives on May 29, 2024.

Lower Decks―Warp Your Own Way now available for pre-order

Another unique title coming from IDW this year is the interactive graphic novel Star Trek: Lower Decks―Warp Your Own Way. First announced at SDCC last summer, the”choose your own adventure” style book is now available for pre-order at Amazon. Here is the official blurb synopsis:

Mariner just wants to have a normal day, but no matter what side of the bed she wakes up on, the world is ending. Literally. If she has coffee, Borg attack! If she has raktajino, cue the Romulan boarding party! And in each scenario, Mariner and her friends end up dead, sometimes the ship is destroyed—and the day starts all over again.

But by exploring the different paths, you, the reader, can discover things that Mariner can’t. There are inconsistencies that don’t make sense—putting aside the fact that Mariner’s choice of drink each morning shouldn’t affect which alien races attack the ship, other facts of her world seem to change too. Something is definitely off. It’s up to you to discover!

Warp Your Own Way is written by Ryan North with art by Chris Fenoglio, who previously teamed up for IDW’s excellent Lower Decks comic mini-series in 2022. The 208-page illustrated paperback arrives on October 15, 2024 and can be pre-ordered at Amazon for $24.99.

Warp Your Own Way cover

Keep up with all the Star Trek comics news, previews and reviews in TrekMovie’s comics category.

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Wow this is such a great idea and great to see!!

And they even remembered the Kelvin universe, even better lol.

I really do love that modern Trek has embraced queer characters and issues so directly. It doesn’t mean I like every character but regardless I give them credit for just having them. In fact I remember right on this board the huge dust up people had when it was revealed Sulu was gay in the Kelvin universe. Now there are so many queer characters on these shows no one really blinks anymore.

And that’s the point.

Lastly I really do give Discovery the most credit for having so many of these characters, from trans to non binary, it is probably what the show will be remembered for more than anything else IMO and was happy to see other shows like Picard and Lower Decks follow its lead.

What was so weird about that dust-up was that a primary critic of that revelation was none other than George Takei himself, who claimed that he always thought of Sulu as being straight when he performed the role — to which the obvious response obviously was, well George old boy, how would you have played him differently if you’d known he was gay? Really respect the guy, who I once had the pleasure of sharing a table with in Palm Beach in 1979, but for my money he was totally wrong on that one.

Yeah I get what Takei was saying obviously, he was saying Sulu was written just as much a straight guy as he was an Asian guy and that’s a very fair argument to have. And obviously Generations made that very clear too when his daughter was introduced.

However, yeah you’re also right, that’s all Sulu could only be at the time…today not the case. And since it was a Sulu from a different universe than it was much ado about nothing IMO. Kira was bisexual in the Mirror Universe while the Prime version wasn’t, no one cared. So I never understood why it was a big deal with this version of Sulu either.

The Point is, that sulu was made gay because Takei himself is Gay. And Takei himself said, that this is not that cool.

I think he is right about that. Invent great qay characters instead of adjusting a characters sexuality to that of the actor. Thats just cheap …

But….alternate reality?


There was nothing “cheap” about that. You have to remember, TOS was from the 60s when LGBT people were more in the closet than they are today. Sulu could have and should have been gay then but it wasn’t allowed.

But that was not the reasoning behind that descision. Kelvin Sulu was made Gay because George Takei is Gay and George Takei himself wasn’t pleased with that move.

Its cheap because they could have make any character gay but choose…. the one with the gay actor.

Why not a gay Kirk, Spock, Bones?

And in the same movies you had a straight character played by a gay actor. You say that it’s bad to make a character gay just because the actor is but do you realize that Zach Quinto is too?

Iam fine with Sulu being gay. And it is also fine that quinto plays a straight vulcan.
I Just think that making the new sulu gay because the old sulus actor is Gay …. Is terrible reasoning.

It the behind the scenes stuff that bugs me. That Idea to “honors” an actors sexuality instead of the actor himself. Its just weird to me.


Because those characters were clearly defined during the run of TOS as being heterosexual. They had romantic relationships with women. Sulu was never given much of a personal life of any kind, let alone a romantic one. His sexuality could have been anything.

But see, that’s not a fair argument either. Takei didn’t want Star Trek to trade on his personal sexuality or contravene his decisions as an actor. You ask what he would have done differently if he firmly believed Sulu was gay? Any number of things – he’s an artist. Certainly in the movie era he would have played things like flirting with Ilia or being enamored by the female Klingon in V differently. In any case, even after he raised his objections, Pegg and co did it anyway for the PR. So eventually when Takei was asked about it by the press, he was honest and Pegg had to spin it all uncomfortably. I have nothing but respect for Takei’s position here.

But then to dismiss him by basically saying, “Well, Sulu barely had anything to do anyway, so he can be gay,” also just pours salt in an open 58 year-old wound about Sulu’s lack of visibility and development, and then uses it against him in a new way. IMO it diminishes what contributions Takei managed with the meager screen time he had, and again it’s all just so Trek could trade on his well-publicized sexuality. If it was really just about representation they’d have made a new character LGBT+.

Yeah, I don’t see this as a diversity issue. The issue is that they did not ask Takei for his blessing — or at least his input — on this character move. This should have been done out of courtesy.

Okay, you make some fair points I hadn’t considered. Still, “Any number of things — he’s an artist” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, given the limitations of what Takei had to work with. There’s really nothing in the canon that firmly cements Sulu as heterosexual, and I keep coming back to the notion that “playing him differently” based on his sexuality, in the absence of any written romance, would or should be pretty offensive to the gay community on its face. Sulu was mostly portrayed as a very competent officer with a wide variety of hobbies. So, what changes? His love of fencing, or passion for antique firearms?

That said, I agree that it would have been a good idea to get Takei’s blessing regarding the revelation about the character he’s been so connected-to, even though he didn’t play him in this particular film.

Again, the only real times that Prime Sulu was allowed any romantic inclinations were in the script for TMP (and sometimes deleted scenes) and Star Trek V. We know nothing of Demora Sulu’s upbringing. It’s sad that’s all we have to parse, but if I were Takei I’d be pointing at them as evidence of how he intended that part of Sulu to be played. He never protested the idea of Sulu being attracted to Ilia or the Klingon First Officer, and it’s best we give him the benefit of the doubt as to whether he’d have played it differently if he was of the mind that Sulu was gay.

At the end of the day we are talking about a man who lived with an understanding of a character he originated and lived with for 50 years. Actors are not the sole possessors of their characters, but this was a very delicate subject that the makers of Beyond unwittingly blundered into, all because they wanted to trade on Takei’s sexuality. I can see the POV that they were trying to honor him, but that blew up in their faces because they didn’t consider his contributions as an artist first.

I don’t know the exact timeline of when they tried to get his blessing, but it was certainly before the movie was released, possibly while it was being scripted. Either way, the Sulu scenes were not changed after Takei made his objections known to the writers.

I think it was after the film was in the can and it was being promoted. They weren’t going back to reshoot or recut the film.

And, you’re right. It did blow up spectacularly in their faces.

I love Simon Pegg and his films, but imo, this make Sulu gay thing was a really bad and unnecessary call.

Again, if I were to have the opportunity to speak with Takei at length as I did in 1979, I would ask him how specifically he would have modified his performance in TOS — if at all — had he conceived the character as being gay. (Sulu’s involuntary, uh, reaction to Ilia’s pheromones exists mostly in Roddenberry’s novelization of TMP, and his attitude towards the female Klingon bodybuilder looked more like awe than lust to me; YMMV.) Until I have more in the way of detail about what he meant by playing Sulu straight, I really can’t evaluate that claim. Much as I admire the man, I’m not obliged to give him the benefit of the doubt on anything.

That was really well argued, Ian. Very good job.

Pegg and co did it anyway for the PR.” This is simply an extremist lie.

I really hope we never again have to hear fans “they only did this because…”. It’s simply a lie. Unless you were in the writers’ room, you don’t know why they did anything until and unless they tell you why – which they often do (and did here!), but still usually get ignored.

We have to remember that there are a whole lot of extremist activists creating and spreading lies about diversity in nerd culture media to spread their radical political extremism. They love creating all sorts of narratives about nefarious ulterior motives of the creators. But these are all LIES created for an extremist agenda.

Fans who aren’t bigoted extremists shouldn’t be spreading these bigoted extremist narratives.

“Unless you were in the writers’ room, you don’t know why they did anything.”

Yes, this.

Takei’s celebrity was heavily elevated by how he publicly came out and marketed himself after that. Pegg is on record as saying part of the reason for making Kelvin Sulu gay was to honor Takei. That’s all well and good, except he wasn’t flattered and didn’t feel honored at all. He raised his objections and they still kept those fleeting scenes in the cut.

At every stage of justifying this decision – writing it, filming it, asking Takei about it, and then defying his wishes, they knew they would get asked about this and would get press for it, so that was part of the calculus, and it’s just obtuse to think otherwise. You don’t need to be in a writer’s room to do the math.

Sometimes a spade is a spade, and it’s not right to ignore that just because some bigots would use it as ammo for their twisted narrative. Takei wouldn’t want that either, but that doesn’t make it right that they traded on his personal sexuality despite his objections. Despite the best of intentions, the writers screwed up on this one and it’s okay to admit that.

Not really. There are scenes suggesting that Sulu was heterosexual and none suggesting he was gay. .

Do tell. Please; you have the floor.

Episodes Shore Leave, Mirror Mirror, That Which Survives, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Star Trek V, off the top of my head.

Explain, please, how each of those works support your view that Sulu was clearly heterosexual. (You can skip “Mirror, Mirror,” where that’s obviously the case, but that was an alt-universe.)

Interesting that you left out “The Way to Eden,” where there’s a scene with one of the space hippy chicks trying to win Sulu over, and he’s not having any.

Hmm. I’ll have to watch Way to Eden again.

As for the rest, they’re all just examples where Sulu showed interest in attractive women.

Can you be more specific? I’ve watched those shows any number of times, and just don’t see it. How does he do that?

I don’t agree with your thinking, but I do agree that they should have asked George for his blessing first.

I don’t think its that simple. George had already passed the character on to John at that point. It’s not all up to George. It never was. There will probably be another Sulu on SNW eventually.

He’s entitled to his opinion, but he’s not the sole guardian of the character.

OK let me modify that — I think they should’ve asked him for his thoughts on it as a courtesy, whether they had already already decided or not. And then perhaps he comes on board with it and we don’t avoid the social media embarrassment of the whole situation.

You’re right, he’s not the sole guardian of the character, but he’s one of, if not the most important creative contributors of the character, especially since Gene Roddenberry had died years prior. They should have asked Takei and honored his wishes in this regard. He was obviously angry about what they did and I don’t blame him.

Considering that some southern state stations pulled the episode Plato’s Stepchildren for the first interracial kiss on TV, that’s a given.

“The Point is, that sulu was made gay because Takei himself is Gay. And Takei himself said, that this is not that cool.”

Jako let me make this as clear as I kind, I understand both sides have a fair point over this particular issue. I was never bothered by it but yes I do get some people feel making Sulu gay was just doing it to feel more ‘woke’ at the time.

Now I normally HATE that word, but if I’m being honest I do think this is one the rare times where I understand where the conservatives were coming from because they picked a very known and iconic character to be gay not because it was remotely relevant to the story or character, just to say they did it to get some brownie points. And I think Takei felt the same way.

And you’re absolutely right, that’s literally the only reason they did it. So I’m not really disagreeing with you. I also wish they just took a new character and they could be queer.

But for me, and I’m going to be honest, I don’t think it mattered. The truth is Sulu never had a relationship of any kind and he has always been just kind of there until the movies. Was he always straight, yes. Was it an important trait to his character, no, not in the least. The fact they made Sulu gay was probably the most anyone has talked about Sulu in 30 years lol. They gave the character an interesting development and could’ve done something unique with him for the first time ever. Unfortunately it was still Sulu because they did absolutely nothing with it lol.

So yeah I get it, this is one of those times where it feels like a way to score diversity points just to say you did it, not because there was any real reason to do it. And I don’t think you need a reason to add more diversity but in this case it did feel a little underhanded. But there is still no reason Sulu can’t be gay in another universe either, so it never bothered me on that level.

“And you’re absolutely right, that’s literally the only reason they did it.” Respectfully, I think it’s always a mistake to ascribe sinister motives to people you don’t know. I take second chair to no one in my dislike for Trek 2009 (except maybe for SW fans re THE RISE OF SKYWALKER), but on a personal level J.J. Abrams strikes me as a decent-enough guy, as do Pegg and Justin Lin. They all made a creative choice, for good or ill, that was a very small part of what turned out to be an okay, if unsuccessful, movie. I don’t think anyone was looking to be particularly “woke” or political, much less exploit anyone.

Sure you can be right, but what did they do with it? Nothing. Sulu meets his husband and daughter who they embrace and just walk away. That’s it. It would’ve nice if they had a moment with Kirk, some more discussions etc.

Even Takai said it just added nothing overall.

Again I had no problems with it as mentioned in my OP it just felt tacked on to say ‘hey look Sulu is gay now.’

If there was more done I wouldn’t feel this way but I do.

Now that said maybe they had planned in the next movie when they thought this thing was going to be a success. So if that was the plan OK but we’ll probably never know now.

I think you’ve hot the nail on the head here. I really hope we never again have to hear fans “they only did this because…”. It’s simply a lie. Unless you were in the writers’ room, you don’t know why they did anything until and unless they tell you why – which they often do, but still usually get ignored.

We have to remember that there are a whole lot of extremist activists creating and spreading lies about diversity in nerd culture media to spread their radical political extremism. They love creating all sorts of narratives about nefarious ulterior motives of the creators. But theses are all LIES created for an extremist agenda.

Fans who aren’t bigoted extremists shouldn’t be spreading these bigoted extremist narratives.

Again people say that because it literally added nothing to the character or story, nothing. You take that scene away, is the movie affected in any way? None.

Again I get it, Sulu was the first gay character in the franchise at the time so they were being more cautious over it. But for a lot of people out there, and you pointed out who they are, it just comes down to more liberal Hollywood running anonk and shoving issues down people’s throats no one was asking for and why it got the pushback it did at the time.

But I always countered that’s what Star Trek is so yeah.

I agree with you. They did the same thing in comics. The original Green Lantern Alan Scott, a character who was twice married and had explicit sexual memories of his wife, gay a few years back. Then they made the 3rd Robin, Tim Drake, Bi. Both the writers who were primarily responsible for developing these characters, Roy Thomas and Chuck Dixon, respectively, expressed their anger and disappointment at these developments, not because the characters were gay, but because it compromised their work.

I think Takei felt the same way.

That’s a very different situation since, as you point out yourself, both of those characters were explicitly heterosexual.

Well there was certainly a lot more concrete evidence to that effect, yes.

What do you think about those cases? Just curious.

If your intent is to honor the intent of the original authors (and I think that’s important), you should probably leave well enough alone, and concentrate on updating/reimagining other things.

That said, not being into comics I have no idea how much their sexuality informs who those characters are. In the case of, say, someone like James Bond, making him gay would completely rewrite what the character is, even though it probably wouldn’t affect his ability to do his job.

Fair enough. You’re right, the original writers who did the most to define the personality of these characters (not a lot of that in Golden Age comics obviously, we’re talking 80s and beyond for both these characters) were dissappointed and angry that they’re work was cast aside so blatantly. They couldn’t do much though. Say too much and DC won’t publish any of their past work. Plus, they don’t own these characters. Like many writers have said, they get to play with the Big Two’s characters and then put them all back at the end of their run for the most part.

As for how important it is, well, I guess it’s as important as the sexuality of any character on TV or film and the like. Comics are probably 100x more sophisticated and go for much older demographics now obviously and that’s why they have to beef up the personal lives of their characters. Stan Lee was obviously one of the first to recognize this importance with Spiderman at Marvel and DC has followed suit.

If you’re ever interested in picking a comic book/graphic novel up, I’d recommend Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns. Everyone loves those books.

I’ve read Watchmen, thanks, and admire it greatly.

Well, it wasn’t really another independent universe like the Mirror universe, it was a divergent timeline. Plus, the original premise, as stated by Orci and Kurtzmann was that the Kelvin characters had the “same souls” as the original characters.

Knowingly making Sulu gay completely violates and compromises that premise, a premise that really is the essential and greatest creative element of the Abrams ST films. That is, these are the same people in a slightly (or majorly, considering Vulcan got blown up) universe. The souls (and imo that would include sexual orientation which is a major characteristic) are the same.

That said, you do bring up a good point about Mirror Kira. However, it could be that the Prime Kira maybe had some bisexual tendencies but never acted on them due to her religious morals? I dunno, just a possible explanation.

Yes but Pegg explained it by saying that divergence still effected things having a butterfly effect in both the past and future. But yes I know not everyone buys that idea but it’s still all fiction end of the day. If that’s what the writer says then that’s what it is.

And yes all parallel universes are essentially just supposed to be the same people, it’s just more about the nature vs nurture aspect in terms of how much they change.

Pegg was put in the unenviable situation of having to talk that one out. I felt bad for him, even though he brought it on himself. But another of Takei’s objections was that this could reinforce the idea that being gay is a choice. I thought Pegg’s explanation of why he disagreed with that was kind and thoughtful, if still a bit of a leap.

I still don’t understand why anyone (including Leonard Nimoy) thought the Kelvinverse would work long-term as a concept. Recasting is one thing, but why would fans who have followed this franchise for decades embrace alt-universe versions of the characters, when it was those characters they had fallen in love with in the first place?

This is Nimoy advanced in years and capable of other questionable calls, such as endorsing a Cushman book.

Yeah, I once thought about it and realized that, with the possible exception of a fantasy scene in TAS and the daughter in Generations, Sulu was the *only* TOS character not shown as having any relationships at all. (He makes passes at Uhura, once when crazy and once in the Mirror Universe, and that’s about it for his supposed straightness.)

Practically, he was not one of the top major characters, so I don’t except he’d get a lot, but even Chekov and Uhura got a little here and there.

That and gay people can in fact have biological children.

Interesting. I didn’t think the DNA technology works that way for two men or two women to have biological child that includes both their DNA?

I didn’t say that. I just know of a lot of gay couples that have biological children. Also transmasc guys exist.

Also by the late 22nd century, it’s like very possible for that to occur.

OK, got it, and your second comment makes sense given technological advancements.

Takei is a narcissist and attention seeker, I think he was probably just jealous the attention was on a different iteration of his role and not his.

Well, I think it’s safe to say that actors are attention-seekers by trade. And I’m not at all convinced that has anything to do with Takei’s attitudes in this matter, in any case.

Thanks for the news flash. I can’t believe a famous actor would have those attributes? ;-))

Nope, I don’t think so. He knew John Cho before he got the Sulu role in Star Trek 2009 and he blessed his successor. Cho was worried that Takei might take umbrage at a Korean actor playing his Japanese character and Takei said it was perfectly fine as, in his mind, Sulu was representative of all Asian people.

Nope, this was solely because Takei wasn’t asked about making the character of Sulu gay. If they’d asked he would have said you can’t do that because Sulu is straight.

Making Sulu gay in the Kelvinverse was a big screwup. It was all done because Simon Pegg and the other writer wanted to have the first gay character in Star Trek. They thought it was a great way of honoring George Takei, the original Sulu, who is gay. The problem was that when it was announced that they made John Cho’s Sulu gay in the Star Trek Beyond, George Takei, said that both he and Rodenberry always envisioned the character as straight. That is exactly the way Takei intended and played the character and there are indications in TOS to that effect, e.g. Shore Leave, That Which Survives, Mirror, Mirror, etc. Takei made his feeling now and ended up embarrassing Pegg. Pegg then gave some wonky explanation on why the Kelvinverse Sulu was gay and the original Sulu wasn’t. This, of course, goes against the central premise of the Kelvinverse: that these are the same TOS characters in an altered timeline.

I guess it was too late or expensive for the reshoots and there are only a couple of scenes with Sulu’s significant other. It’s pretty easy to ignore.

I guess the moral of the story is check with the original actor or creator before changing the sexual orientation of an established character.

 It was all done because Simon Pegg and the other writer wanted to have the first gay character in Star Trek. ” This is simply an extremist lie.

I really hope we never again have to hear fans “they only did this because…”. It’s simply a lie. Unless you were in the writers’ room, you don’t know why they did anything until and unless they tell you why – which they often do, but still usually get ignored.

We have to remember that there are a whole lot of extremist activists creating and spreading lies about diversity in nerd culture media to spread their radical political extremism. They love creating all sorts of narratives about nefarious ulterior motives of the creators. But theses are all LIES created for an extremist agenda.

Fans who aren’t bigoted extremists shouldn’t be spreading these bigoted extremist narratives.

“ It was all done because Simon Pegg and the other writer wanted to have the first gay character in Star Trek. ” This is simply an extremist lie.

Yep, I’m definitely an extremist. Oh, and a bigot. Thanks for that. You know me so well.

Ok, I believe that was the case. I don’t know for sure, but they did made a big ballywho out of it. And then it blew up in their face when Takei publicly rebuked them for it.

Yes it will be the ONLY thing it’s remembered for. Other, successful shows don’t need to go down that path. TNG already did this decades ago. NO.

An observation: for whatever reason, Star Trek seems scared to focus on lesbian relationships versus male gay relationships. For example, they totally dropped the ball with Seven and Raffi.

Matalas couldn’t ignore it fast enough.

Of course, he pretty much wiped the whole of S2 from existence, not just Seven/Raffi.

Matalas couldn’t ignore it fast enough.

Yeah, the complete dropping of their relationship — plus the pairing of their primary interactions then being largely with males (Raffi with Worf, and Seven with Shaw) gives on the perception (correct or not) that Matalas didn’t want any of this in the one season of Star Trek that he had control of.

It’s disappointing and a missed opportunity. But it’s probably another good reason that he’s now exciting Trek to head up that YA Witch Mountain series — and I doubt he will need to worry about having to deal with LGBTQ relationships on that series.

that’s good…season 2 and season 1 were bad

Loved S1. S2 though was the worst season of Star Trek since Enterprise S4.

Good. Picard Season 2 is the worst season of Star Trek. Thank god for Matalas for giving us Season 3.

Definitely agree on that. Season 2 was just horrible.

Respectfully, but have you watched all of the other TV versions of Star Trek? (if not, for this, binge DS9 first.)

While Discovery was the first to be completely out and honest about it and was the first to have gay male characters in a relationship….

Going back to DS9 where there were numerous instances (and tenuously & arguably TNG “The Outcast”) of which all of the other LGBTQ+ kisses, relationship innuendos, and any other way the writers could “go there” were with female characters. The idea of the time being it was more “palpable” (i.e. straight men wouldn’t balk the way straight females might) way to introduce us to a Broadcast Network.

Outside of Garek on DS9 (who was the MOST ambiguous) and then Sulu in the Kelvin U (a BRIEF scene) and now Stamets & Culber, the rest have all been female based (or the audience was to assume female…again the whole “palpable” thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending the major lack of representation, just pointing out how Trek has handled us over the years (I was a teenager during TNG). Just my perspective as a life long Trekkie.

I should have mentioned that I am talking about recent Kurtzman and JJA Star Trek era, not the Berman era.

The audience for genre programming tends to skew male, and straight men have long had a much easier time dealing with lesbian than gay sexuality (to put it mildly — “Seinfeld” even got some comedic mileage out of it.) If there’s been a preference for depicting male gay relationships in the current era of Trek, it’s hard for me to believe it’s deliberate.

I don’t disagree with that. What I think may actually going on here is that Matalas is uncomfortable with it.

What we have to go by is that when Matalas wasn’t the showrunner in S2 we had a lesbian relationship starting with Seven and Rafi (even if they were too chickenshit to do much with it, at least it was a start) but then the minute he becomes showrunner for his season that relationship is shut down — with him as the writing lead.

I admit, I’m one of those neanderthals who has a hard time with gay sexuality.

Seriously, I probably will never ever be comfortable with 2 guys kissing and definitely don’t want to see any intimacy beyond that.

That said, I have gay friends and I do want them to have all the rights I enjoy including the rights of marriage, work equality, etc. It’s only fair in our civil society.

WRT to Discovery I liked both Stamets and Culber and I could generally handle what was shown in the shows. It was largely innocuous. I didn’t show it to my kids, maybe in a couple more years when they’re older.

I do think it was an important step for Trek to include the Stamets and Culber couple. That said, I do wonder if things have gone overboard with representation. LGBTQ folks are a small fraction of the population and now what, almost 1/2 of the primary cast of characters in Discovery are LGBTQ? And then you have more of those characters on all the shows? I think maybe there’s over-representation now, as a reaction to the divisions in our own country with the far-right attacking LGBTQ rights and the left passionately defending them. So many TV series, movies, comic books, etc. all seem to have requisite LGBT+ characters. If you added them up, and I might make a cursory attempt, I’d bet money that the proportion would exceed the proportion in the actual human population. It’s a political thing, called, perhaps derisively, virtue signaling. I guess right wing media does the same thing, but of course, most of the entertainment industry skews left now. It’s just the way it is. Things are unbalanced and divided in this country and everyone is on edge with what they say and do because they’re afraid of being cancelled. It’s unfortunate. If we could actually respect and discuss things we have a better chance at allaying fear, anger, and reaching compromise and understanding, which are virtues of the societies depicted in Star Trek.

Still, there have been more lesbian relationships in Kurtzman Trek than gay male ones. Mariner’s desperately needs a coda to wrap it up, but while she was with Jen that was handled as well as you could expect of a 30 minute cartoon.

Good point. The more I think about it, the more I think this on Matalas specifically, not the franchise. Please see my response to Michael Hall above.

I think it’s a bit of a leap to say he was scared of Seven and Raffi. You could argue that it was a better use of Raffi to create distance and pair her with someone other than her girlfriend. Or that season 2 demonstrated they weren’t as interesting as they could have been, so why double down? They certainly end the season on a note of potentially rekindling their romance, though.

Personally, I thought it was weirder that there was an Andorian crewman named “Jennifer” than Mariner having a bisexual relationship.

At this point, I’m almost beyond caring. It’s just the state of the nation now, I suppose.

I always do wish that they incorporated more religious diversity in ST and, heck in other media as well. To me, that’s every bit as important as orientation, race, etc. But, of course, being religious is ascribed more to the right and Hollywood is largely to the left. Plus, a lot of creators, like Brannon Braga, who I believe described ST as an mythology for atheists or something like that, don’t think any of the human characters in ST should have any religious identity at all. Instead we have proxies like the Klingons and Bajorans. I do think that’s a shame and a missed opportunity. We need media where different sides come together to talk about differences. They did that with Worf, of course, and Kira, but we have real religions here. It’d be nice if some of the human characters encompassed that, along with race, gender, and orientation.

Maybe it’s spelled with all Andorian letters? ;)

I really respect that they’re putting this out there, and hope it pays off handsomely for them.

I imagine it will. They wouldn’t put it out if they didn’t think they couldn’t make money. FYI DC and Marvel do the same things.

I thought it might be more brave and apt in our current political and social climate to focus not just on the differences between which genders people engage in sexual relations with (which in my view is a very narrow perspective for which to define someone) but to celebrate the differences between people who hold different beliefs an ideas. For example, why don’t we have stories which result in die-hard conservatives and radical-liberals coming together and finding common ground? Then maybe we can truly include everyone in the discourse, including the pesky straight white folks. Just so you guys know I’m not trolling because there does seem to be a lack of trust and understanding when it comes to people like me, my first idea would be (as an olive branch, if you will) have a climate-denying tin-hat wearing conspiracy theorist understand the role of humanity on climate change. We could also have a similar scenario where our heroes visit a planet whose inhabitants didn’t vaccinate themselves from a deadly virus.

Instead we get another shallow attempt at highlighting diversity by stating “ohhh she’s kissing a girl, isn’t she brave”. *sigh*

One of my TNG pitches was about a planet that so polluted low orbit that they effectively were barring themselves from space because of all the debris (sort of like GRAVITY cubed.) The idea was that these people were absolutely united in their DESIRE to explore space and the belief they needed to do so — but even so, they still couldn’t bother to clean up their own mess and wanted a handout/cleanup from the Federation. I liked it as a ‘clean up your own mess and get back to us’ kind of story, almost along the lines of SYMBIOSIS. So I see the value in your idea of contrasting extremes, because it is true to life in all sorts of instances, even though it doesn’t seem to make logical sense. After all humans aren’t all that logical.

There is a really terrible movie called SOLAR CRISIS that was made in the late 80s and finally dumped on homevid during the 90s. It was a super-expensive film (some of the vfx are nice and it does have a moment where Charlton Heston gets to say, “I can do whatever I want — I’m the admiral,’) but it felt so stupid to me because the villain was a rich guy who was sabotaging the mission to save Earth by fixing the sun because he thought there was more money in a failed mission. It seemed imbecilic to me, because why are you sabotaging everybody’s existence, including your own? Decades later, it seems like business-as-usual, with so many denying all this stuff. It is kind of like the sad bemused scientist at the beginning of LOCAL HERO, saying they have the knowledge to head off the next Ice Age, but nobody will listen and it’s like ‘they want to freeze.’

I admit to watching SOLAR CRISIS just for Charlton Heston and in a way thought that 2007’s Sunshine from Danny Boyle was a much better remake and update of this story.

We like to watch SUNSHINE every couple of years, even though the last stretch gets a bit ropey. Need to find a new copy, on a rewatch the disc locked up less than halfway through and was unplayable for about 10 minutes of the movie (which seems to be happening with a lot of our blu-rays lately, including POINT BREAK, TERMINATOR 2 and even a Criterion of MEDIUM COOL.)

I certainly would have enjoyed watching that episode. I’m a little starving for a good ol’fashioned morale quandary.

I was actually inspired by a very weak and failed Disney pilot called EARTHSTAR VOYAGER that showed the intrepid crew blasting through a seemingly endless array of debris in LEO. I think it must have been one of the only TV projects that Richard Edlund’s Boss Films did VFX for (tho oddly enough, they also did SOLAR CRISIS, mentioned upthread.)

I’ve come to the point that the Uber-rich greedheads don’t scare me as much as they used to. For all their power and outsized influence we vastly outnumber them, and in the end they’re as mortal as the rest of us. What keeps me awake at nights is the Dunning-Kruger effect that enables them.

Paradoxically, if you put enough crap, including dust clouds, into earth orbit, you can dial down the sun slightly and aid reduce global warming — it’s been looked at.

Respectfully, You missed the point. When you grow up in a world where you cannot let anyone know who you are attracted to, if so you will be socially persecuted, your parents will lose their jobs, your family will be run out of town…..being deadly serious about those consequences.

Well, you turn to the closest thing you can find to an excepting, different, world-view family; Star Trek. In my case, every TOS Movie, Book (Waldenbooks Circa 1990) & TNG.

I am genuinely glad you are able to “sigh” in our current world over this “definition”. I am sure many “pesky straight folks” (your words) might feel tired of hearing/seeing as much as it is represented. I honestly, not in my wildest, would have ever thought in my youth it would be as widely seen as it is now.

Be happy we, of us, feel safe enough to have a chat regarding this “narrow perspective” as you categorize it. It takes being persecuted and feeling real life harm (physical, social, financial) to understand.

If it were not for Star Trek and being able to escape into that wonderful future, I don’t know if I would have survived into adulthood. I can never think Gene Roddenberry enough!

Respectfully, You missed the point. When you grow up in a world where you cannot let anyone know who you are attracted to, if so you will be socially persecuted, your parents will lose their jobs, your family will be run out of town…..being deadly serious about those consequences.

Yep, like in Russia, which Trump’s buddy rules.

This. We had the exact same experience. Still can’t come out in real life as any part of our identity because the mother is not at all accepting and we have been hurt by her before when she thought that there was a chance that we weren’t straight.

For us it’s nice to see Trek comics do this.

Thank you for your respectful rebuke

“For example, why don’t we have stories which result in die-hard conservatives and radical-liberals coming together and finding common ground?”

DS9 did exactly that. Sisko being the Emissary was the entire basis of what you’re describing. Here was a man who didn’t believe in any religion since according to Hippie Roddenberry most people would have moved away from and that Starfleet officers doesn’t exactly promote. He was very hesitant over the entire issue because he clearly did believe it but as time went on he accepted not just being the Emissary but understood why Bajoran spirituality was important and necessary to have.

That’s one of the (many) things I admired about DS9 and you’re talking to a very liberal atheist. The show helped open my eyes to religion I never really thought about in the real world.

But you’re probably talking about more episodic story lines, which on that end I can agree with you, but in our anti-woke society today would probably be harder to pull off.

I agree. I think Star Trek has always been pretty good at holding up a mirror to society. I just feel that for whatever reason, it used to be done in a more intelligent and less divisive way.

I don’t know how much I agree with that though. I know there is this huge culture war thing brewing but it’s been brewing for decades now. I remember when people were upset just having a black guy and a woman be the leads of Star Trek shows were considered divisive. And they were because it was still the 90s.

Today it does feel more conscious because it’s talked about endlessly. Every time Hollywood adds two women to something, a group of people act like it’s the end of society as they know it. I’m not saying there hasn’t been a push to add more diversity or talk about more socially relevant issues but people act like this has only been happening in the last 10 years. No, it’s been happening waaaay longer than that. The difference is today we simply live in a more accepting society (which is a good thing, right?) where they are more open to these things. But there is still people out there that feel it’s too much too fast or they are getting phased out. No one is getting phased out. Last I checked straight white men still control the majority of the western world.

The irony about Star Trek where we constantly laud the diversity of it’s casing, the reality is, and sit down for this, the majority who are making it today are still straight white men. Look at nearly every show runner right now and you tell me how many of them are women or POC? Who was making Star Trek mostly in the 60s? Straight white men. Who was making it in the 70s/80s when the movies started? Straight white men. Who was making it when TNG started through Enterprise? Straight white men. Who was making it when Abrams started his movies? Straight white men. There has been a few women here or there but very little and none of them has ever had a large control of the franchise itself. And when you add an actual person of color, forget about it.

This is the crazy thing, Hollywood hasn’t changed much in terms of who has the control. The creatives are a little more diverse but end of day very little has changed where it really matters. They are simply reacting to a more inclusive society in general because they know there has been a lack of true diversity for a long time and these issues been building for a long time now.

Yes times are a changing, they always are. No one is trying to push anyone out, just include others because the people making these decisions are mostly the same people making them 50 years ago; just with a very different outlook now.

Star Trek has always been and always should be divisive — with the progressive social views contrasting and shown to be a more advanced human direction than the reactionary/conservative views of the past.

You don’t have to like it, but that’s how it is and that’s how it’s probably always going to be.

including the pesky straight white folks.

This dumbass inference that “straight white folks” are somehow all in agreement with your BS would be funny if I didn’t actually think that you probably believe believe all that nonsense.

As a white straight white man myself, I can assure you that my views have nearly zero in common with yours. You don’t speak for me, and you don’t speak for many, many straight white males.

Relax sir, it just a tongue-in-cheek reference from other sources which I used with no great harm intended. We have perhaps both fallen into the same trap as generalization, since it’s unlikely that the sample of “straight white males” you know is not large enough to come to the conclusion that my views don’t represent the majority…. just as I should not imply that they do.

You “straight white folks” do this bad faith stuff all the time. You push people’s buttons and when called out on it you play the “oh ha ha you misunderstand my tongue in cheek nature, sir” bit.

Yeah, it’s right up there with the classically bad remark that: “Listen, some of my best friends are ‘fill in the blank.’ ”

And as a straight white male, the last thing I want to be associated with are these red state MAGA views.

Sorry mods! LOL

I think it’s unlikely we’ll see an episode where climate denialist antivaxxer homophobes are portrayed as anything but irrational, illogical people…. because that’s what they are. They’re not going to do a show where it’s determined they’re really good folks once you have a beer with them. Diversity isn’t rational and irrational people holding hands for a minute. Niceness and proximity doesn’t eliminate inequality.
Honestly, if you want well intentioned but misconceived “both siding” Trek, it’s already been made. Go watch Let that Be You Last Battlefield. Bele was a jerk and Lokai had some legitimate grievances. I’ll die on that hill.

Great point. And let’s remember that Bele was the one of the two who was very afraid of an impartial group of people assessing justice in that situation.

Lokai steals a shuttle because he’s running from a fanatic, and they’re ready to take him back to the Starbase to be charged. Bele takes control of the Enterprise and then is invited to dine at the Captain’s Table.

I don’t think they we’re making the argument they intended to make with that episode.

Lol, no we are not. :-)

This is an extremist narrative.

You seem to think that writers can’t actually do two different things in one story or series. This is a lie. It’s an extremist narrative meant to radicalize people in nerd culture by telling them that the reason that they’re not getting whatever it is they want from a show is because the writers are including diversity.

There is no “instead”. Trek can do and be many different things.
The existence of this one special doesn’t prevent them from doing many other things. In fact, IDW has two different ongoing series continuing, along with countless specials and miniseries.

Also, it is a lie to claim that anyone actually said “ohhh she’s kissing a girl, isn’t she brave”. Literally no one – and certainly no one at Trek – has ever said any such thing. Another extremist narrative.

And even if they were, is that really any different from Roddenberry himself saying, “Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate but to celebrate differences in ideas and differences in life forms.” ?

Funny how you’re not heaping scorn on him for such a similar statement.

Also, why does is bother you so much to see that some people want to do a special highlighting the LGBTQ characters in Star Trek? Or that many fans will enjoy said special?

It’s weird that it’s important for you to see people who CHOOSE to be conservatives represented on Star Trek, but not people who happen to be born different from you. Apparently, representation is only important to people exactly like you. And you clearly resent when anyone else gets it from Star Trek. When it’s not you, it’s “Shallow”. Typical. *sigh.*

As badly I think all these new shows are, this is the one instance I felt they got right and hope they continue. Too bad most of the characters suck except Jett Reno, one of the few I like on Discovery but she’s not in it enough to make me care.

See there is one thing you like about NuTrek, Jett Reno! ;D

LOL! Yeah she’s great!

In light of some of the conversations on this thread;

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.”

-Gene Roddenberry

Do you think Gene was envisioning, like, QAnon when he was talking about that, though?

Adira and Grey are probably the worst LGBTQ+ characters in Star Trek. Boring, bland and pointless. They did them a disservice with Discovery’s crap writing. Captain Angel in SNW is a much better trans character.

Ah. Yes. I took think that a stereotypical trans villain is such great representation for trans people, including myself.

To elaborate because I know I will be asked: I’m a transfem member of this system. And from where I’m sitting, Captain Angel was a lot of negative stereotypes about us, including coming across as low-key predatory towards Spock. There is no better representation there.

What do you think about the Situation where Adira explains their pronouns to stamets?

I thought it was auch a missfired attemp of queer repressntation.
It is the what… 29/30. Century of Star Trek and Adira still has to explain their pronouns?

One: my reply wasn’t about Discovery. It was focused on the part about Captain Angel. It was not a commentary on representation in Disco.

Two: iirc the situation was framed as if Adira was just starting to come out as non-binary. It wasn’t a case of Stamets misgendering them if I’m remembering right. It was them going “I trust you, can you help me by calling me these pronouns so I can see if they feel right for how I see my own gender?” Which is actually 100% accurate to our experiences as trans people. We will reach out and ask people we trust to do things like that.

Adira using they/them pronouns in Discovery ist great. However. There was the oportunity to pull Off a real Star Trek by having the characters of the Star Trek Future Not needing to come out for example. And I think they missed that and instead wrote it like a Show Set in nowadays.

But isn’t Discovery Star Trek after all. A Show set in a future where people have overcome this? A Future where trans people are totally equal?

You missed what I was saying.

It wasn’t about that in that scene. Trans people are still trans people, even in the future. Trans people are still just people exploring their relationship with their gender. Trans people will still need to speak up and say “this is my relationship with my gender”, nobody can read their mind. Nobody will just look at someone and go “oh your pronouns are this, cool.” How would you know for sure? If you saw us in real life, you’d assume we’d be a she/her. But no, we’re collectively a he/they (soon to be experimenting with neo-pronouns) but how would you know that if we don’t tell you that.

I think Adira using “they” pronouns actually makes perfect sense given that the character a Trill (well, human but with a Trill symbiont). Quite literally non-binary.

Adira has to explain pronouns because the 32nd century isn’t real and the show is made for people in the 2020s.

Agree on Adira and Grey. I actually loved their first appearance, but I feel they shouldn’t have brought Grey back. It pushed credulity right through the window with its “sci-fi”/magic solution and they had nothing decent to do with the character once they did. I liked Adira to begin with, but the character rapidly became very one-note and dull.

Captain Angel though, was lord-awful from the start. Really awful, over the top, scenery chewing performance that belonged in a DS9 Mirror Universe episode and not the Prime universe. I sincerely hope that character never returns.

Incidentally, Jadzia deserved to be forefront of that cover. They never made an issue of her sexuality but she was clearly bisexual. As a gay teenager, who saw little to no positive representation of non-heterosexual characters in the media at the time (sorry, I still loathe the term “queer”) “Rejoined” was incredibly moving to me. Jadzia remains one of my top 5 Trek characters.

100% Jadzia should be on there.

“not just to tolerate but to celebrate”

And there is everything, in a nutshell.

It’s a shame it’s done with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face, especially on Discovery.

Gray and Adira. They serve no story purpose, adding almost nothing to the series as a whole. Some of the worst main characters Trek has ever put on screen.
Seven and Raffi. They have no chemistry whatsoever, and add nothing to the series. Their relationship is barely shown, mentioned or talked about.

It’s very easy to say oh this character is gay, this character is bi, look how progressive we are. Actually making them a compelling CHARACTER… who just happens to be gay or bi… is the trick and so far, the majority on that cover have not done that imo, apart from Sulu (which is a special case) and Chapel (although I didn’t even realise they made her bi for some reason)

I’m taking what we can get. I have a lot of complaints about the way they’re treated but at least we’re eating even if it’s not good. It’s still better than what Star Wars has given us. (Your big gay character is. Grand Moff Tarkin? Keep it, Lucasfilm. I don’t want to be represented by that.)

“At least we’re eating even if it’s not good”?

What a sad way of thinking.

I’m gay and I’m not someone who feels the need to see themselves on screen in order to validate my existence, but if you do like seeing yourself on screen, then at least make it good, otherwise what’s the point?

It’s not validation for us. It’s knowing that we’re not alone.

Yes, we get it. Everyone hates Adira. But for us, whose collective gender identity can be best summed up in a way that will sound completely stupid but it’s just the opening credits of DS9 but the comet is a giant grey fox that can somehow survive in and fly through space, they’re important. It’s nice to see people like us exist in media so we know we aren’t alone and can one day be accepted. That we won’t be treated as if we’re insane for being who we are.

Do you really need a tv show to tell you that?

I think you’ll find it is validation. Which is sad that it’s still needed by some in 2024. Other minorities, sure, being LGBT though?

Do you like…. anything?

Personally, I wouldn’t want a show that prides itself on its commitment to diversity treating me like I’m the mustard stain no one is allowed to talk about, but you do you.

And I’d rather be treated the same way as everyone else, but you do you. Some people just have a obsessive craving to be called special these days.

But deliberate exclusion is the opposite of be treated the same way as everyone else.

No one suggested deliberate exclusion. No need to fabricate arguments and outrage to suit your agenda.

And what agenda is that?

“It’s nice to see people like us exist in media so we know we aren’t alone and can one day be accepted. That we won’t be treated as if we’re insane for being who we are.”

You: “Do you really need a tv show to tell you that?
I think you’ll find it is validation. Which is sad that it’s still needed by some in 2024. Other minorities, sure, being LGBT though?”

Whatever. I don’t get you. I think you’re just here to troll.

Please see my response above

As a straight white male, Probably 90% of media and societal interactions I have had in my life are set up to validate me, whether I want that to happen or not.

So why would I deny validations to others who haven’t had my advantages? In fact I think the media should go out of its way to give diverse groups these small measures of validation in the media (like Gritizens is suggesting) that have been lacking for decades. Why should I feel threatened by that?

Also I’m growing tired of the idea that LGBT characters have to be “subtle” very very quickly. Straight and cis characters are allowed to be as very unsubtle as they want and yet a person saying their pronouns outloud is a problem? Two men being married isn’t subtle enough? A small portion of an episode being a date between two women isn’t “subtle”?

Compared to all of the episodes about the relationship between a man and a woman? Two wedding episodes in the 90s and the beginning of one movie being a wedding? DS9 where Jadzia openly implies that she sleeps with her random dates? Come on! Maybe we deserve these things! Maybe we deserve to be open and in your face just as much as the straight couple next to us!

“subtle” feels like a dog whistle for “don’t get out of line and know your place”

Agreed. Regarding what I brought up earlier, all we have to go by is that when Matalas wasn’t the showrunner in S2 we had a lesbian relationship starting with Seven and Rafi (even if they were too chickenshit to do much with it, at least it was a start) but then the minute he becomes showrunner for his season that relationship is shut down — with him as the writing lead.

It is what it is

Maybe for some, but dramatically Gray’s storyline culminating in a “We see you” metaphor is pretty clumsy, regardless of how well-intended it was.

Discovery leans into things in a very overt way that a lot of the time I think would be more effective and timeless if it were handled with finesse. Like, on one hand it’s sweet to give Stacey Abrams a role in the show as she’s an important figure who famously loves Star Trek. But to make that a speaking cameo as the President of Earth, for a politician who was running for office in an election year? It’s unnecessarily blunt to me.

And I’m not saying Trek is known for being subtle all the time, but this show tackles some issues in a way that feels especially blunt and lacking in nuance.

I guess people are going to use my comment as a springboard for the airing grievances of whatever character or story arc the want to vent about. Getting into “not my problem” territory there

Subtle is overrated. We give MAGA politicians and supporters far more allowance for nuance than their white grievance politics deserve.

“Sure, Trek called out the oppressors in society out on their hypocrisy. But were they subtle. For shame”

lmao Disco sure isn’t the first Trek show to not be subtle about things either.

Was Far Beyond the Stars fucking subtle? No! It was sure in your face about its meaning and what it represented.

Minorities have to walk this impossible tightrope called nuance and subtlety. Meanwhile everyone else can congratulate themselves on their political incorrectness. The average Trump supporter doesn’t care about subtlety. The reward the lack of it.

How about we get out of our comfort zone, let marginalized people speak their truth, and everybody else try to be subtle for a change.

How about we get out of our comfort zone, let marginalized people speak their truth, and everybody else try to be subtle for a change.

I like it!

I’m good with that.

It’s not what makes for a clever and powerful drama that will age well though. That’s more important for a show than scoring cheap political points or hamfistedly getting a blunt lecture on the airwaves. And positioning a Star Trek show to be an overtly anti-MAGA platform is so limiting as well. It should be more than that.

Someone brought up “Far Beyond the Stars” as not being subtle. It’s not. But it was smart, mysterious, impassioned, dark, wrenching and timeless in its presentation. That’s how a clever drama does justice to its audience and its messaging and creates a proper lasting impression. If it were an exact science more shows would be doing it all the time, let alone Star Trek shows. But I just know Discovery does not meet a lot of standards of great allegorical storytelling – it telegraphs its messaging, it lectures, and it goes for low hanging fruit for brownie points. I want to celebrate this diverse cast and crew, but what they have to work with is just so shallow, it’s a shame.

Going all the way back to the original point we were making.

Where the absolute hell is two guys being in a relationship that feels like it doesn’t even actually matter much to the show being “too blunt” and “lecturing.” If anything we feel like we’re being lectured for daring to accept these characters as representation because the fandom think that everything Disco does is awful. Because that’s sure what Emily is doing in this thread.

It feels like “subtle” is code for “don’t exist at all” because their LGBT identity isn’t even at all important to these characters in the shows they’re from. For example Chapel was confirmed bi in a joke. Yet her entire arc revolves around a man. If they made it more subtle than that then she wouldn’t be confirmed bi at all.

It feels like anyone who says that this needs to be more “subtle” are among the group review bombing Transformers Earthspark because there was a scene where a new character gently corrected me (Optimus Prime) when I accidentally got their pronouns wrong. And the only other time their gender identity ever came up was when they met another nonbinary person and was absolutely happy to learn that they weren’t alone. There was absolutely nothing “lecturing” there.

I’m not complaining about two guys being in a relationship. I’m sad that Stamets and Culber don’t have interesting believable dialogue anymore like they did in season 1, but I’ve always appreciated their inclusion in Star Trek.

I don’t like what was done with Gray. Ghost boyfriend trope turns into a wince-worthy walking metaphor. The offense is that it’s bad drama that ages badly. It comes from the same place as not liking how these characters wear their hearts on their sleeves, have dramatic emotional outbursts, and treat each other like their personal therapists, even in the middle of a life-threatening situation. It creates character inconsistencies (how is Adira from early season 3 at all like how they are by the end of 4, for example?), it undermines these characters as competent professionals, and it makes the overall show feel cloying and contrived. Plots like the visit to the planet made of feelings don’t exactly help.

I can’t speak for what the OP thinks subtlety means when it comes to Discovery. But to me, subtlety in drama is not about using it as a cudgel to keep minorities in their place or whatever wild ulterior motive people are violently flashing circling their liberal wagons to protect themselves from here. I certainly don’t have one. I’m a 40-something gay Asian living in America; I’m acutely aware of what it’s like to be starved of good representation in Hollywood and Star Trek, and I appreciate the spirit of the efforts being taken now.

But I’m also tuned into what makes for good drama, subjective though it may be. And there are all sorts – Star Trek is very stylized television, it’s not a grounded drama. People don’t actually talk like they do in TNG, but there is enough emotional and character truth to what’s being played out, that the drama works more times than it doesn’t. Subtlety is things like Patrick Stewart’s and Leonard Nimoy’s micro-expressions, finding allegories that might be lectures but they don’t feel like lectures. Or it’s as simple as building up a romance between a shy Kelpian and a Vulcan. But things like Wesley being given dialogue about how weird it is to be addicted to drugs is clumsy. So is Gray being a literal “We See You” metaphor in 2021. So is Stamets’ fatherly concern being demonstrated with sh*tty dialogue where he just blurts out unconvincing lines about caring for two kids he hasn’t been seen to bond with that way. So is populating the bridge stations with talented people of all ethnicities who are then afforded no character, even in a season when the main cast is tiny.

These writers could do better, and do better by our minority communities besides just showing up and being lazy with how they make their points and develop their characters – they work so hard to make this show in all other aspects, and they’re thoughtful people, but so often the writing just feels like roguh drafts stamped, “Good Enough.” Standards are high for great drama these days, and there are diverse and LGBT+ characters all over US television now. I don’t think Discovery’s clumsy writing deserves an automatic pass just because they all showed up and have the best intentions. You have to do the work after that.

If you feel Gay characters just living their lives and one black woman making a cameo is hamfisted is don’t know what to tell you. You’re all worked up about a big nothing burger. The problem may be in the receiver instead of the messenger this time. That’s a you problem, not mine.

No, you are imposing your prejudices onto me here by assuming I have a problem with gay characters or a cameo because it’s a black woman. I would never do that to you or any other poster here.

I’m trying to talk about what makes for believable compelling drama and how cheap it is to score a political point by casting an active politician. You’re trying to simplify and distort my position into being about prejudice, which is not what I discuss at all upthread. That’s not just a you problem, it’s disingenuous.

I think Gray’s storyline comes across as clumsy because the actor is boring as shit to watch — so all we are left with is thinking about other aspects of the character, like the gender thing, because we are bored shirtless watching this bad actor, and it’s taking us out of the episode.


This is wonderful. The IDW comics have been wonderful lately and it’s nice to see these characters get a spotlight.

What a great idea! Granted, a story about Gray Tal doesn’t interest me much since the character was the mayor of dullsville onscreen, but maybe IDW can do more with him. Also, what about Jadzia? It surprises me that they’d do a comic about Trek’s queer characters and not include her since she was the first one the franchise introduced.

Wow that looks horrendous

I was going to say that’s a really nice looking cover.

Each to his own my friend!

Does it? I don’t agree at all. Trek fans are weird with comic art, like something isn’t translating. Every comic post comes with complaints about the art. It just seems short-sighted to me to call an art style bad just because you don’t personally favor it.

The characters are all recognizable. I understand the idea it’s trying to convey. The alignment seems fine. I know taste is subjective, but it’s a long way from horrendous.

I could show you some horrendous comic covers for days.

I will rephrase I do not like the cover art never been a fan of floating heads

ah. Fair enough.

Question: Are any readers here trans?
If so, were you happy with the Adira/Blu storyline?
Or was it enough to (finally!) have representation on the show?

I have a gay sibling.
When he saw Stamets and Culber on DSC, he said he finally felt “normal and accepted” on American TV. (We’re Canadian.) He thought he’d never see the day.

Yes. It was just enough to have representation on the show for us.

Very glad to hear that at least Gritizens! 🙂

I don’t like the character all that much to be honest but their inclusion is still worth it.

I do wonder we’ll see him again next season?

I’m not trans (although I am LGBTQ), but I thought their story was fine. Their being nonbinary wasn’t actually their main story arc, although to listen to some corners of fandom, it’s all they ever did with them. It was a small part of a larger storyline for the character, including many aspects, like their growing self esteem, their relationship to being Trill, Trill culture, and their past lives (particularly, but not exclusively, Grey), their growing found family with Stammetts and Culber, their friendship with Tilly, along with all the plot elements. Plus, it gave us a chance to see the Trill homeworld proper for the first time in Trek, and see where it is in the far future.

It’s not JUST representation, although representation is important, for the reasons you mentioned. I liked the character, and they added to the show and gave us stories we hadn’t yet seen before in Trek.

Glad your sibling liked it!

This is really great! The more diversity in Star Trek the better. Good call. 😎👍

And that Lower Decks comic sounds amazing. Of course it does because it’s Lower Decks! May have to order that.

I agree, the more diversity the better. That said, I would include characters who are openly religious too. That’s been a whole dimension that the entertainment industry largely ignores, or, when they include it, it’s incorporating the worst, most hostile and bigoted stereotypes.

-points at DS9-

Yeah, I already stipulated to DS9 and the Klingons in another post.

I just think it’d be nice to see some human characters of different faiths interacting and sharing their religious views instead of using alien proxies. I’m trained in physics, but, especially now, with kids and as I grow older and having lost several people I love in the last few years, I’ve been digging deeper into my faith, and, I think, it’s made me stronger and more thoughtful in my morals and how I treat other people. There are good things and bad aspects of religion, obviously, and a lot of attention lately has been on the horrific aspects of religious institutions and people who call themselves Christians but obviously are not due to their blatant hatreds of others who are different from them. It would do my heart good if we could see religious folks of different faiths coming together in the ST universe too. I think that would inspiring and educational. I’d appreciate it, but I guess I’m in the minority here.

this is not gonna go over well with trek fans. i know trek itself is and has always been progressive but people dont like this stuff. bad idea for trek fans. good luck everyone.

Speak for yourself.

Then they are not really ST fans at all

Trek isn’t Trek unless it’s enraging bigots. It’s Trek’s ENTIRE raison d’etre.

Make it so

HEH! : D

Since everyone here is a Trek fan and most seem fine with it I think they’ll be OK.

Only extremist bigots “don’t like this stuff.” And no one cares what they think. No one makes Star Trek for them. They are missing the entire point of Star Trek, according to the man who created it.

Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate but to celebrate differences in ideas and differences in life forms.” —Gene Roddenberry

I like that part: celebrate differences. IDIC and all that.

It hurts to see so many of the Republican party, beginning with Trump, MGT, Don. Jr, Boebert, etc. go explicitly over to racism, xenophobia, etc. It’s so open now so vile, so ugly, so un-American and so anti-Christian. It’s scary and it disgusts me as an American and a Christian who just wants to do his best to follow in Christ’s footsteps.

It’s a hard life, with a lot of tears, and yet there are so many of us who hate and fear the other and just want to hurt and persecute other people. I love ST’s optimism, but I think our nation is in decline and we’re doomed as a species.

As a LGBT+ Jew: put your money where your mouth is and support us instead of sitting here going “what about Christians?”. Support the other two abrahamic religions too.

Uh, what do you want me to do? Of course I support Jews and I support LGBT+ rights.

I don’t have much time to be an activist. Just started a new job and I am TRYING to keep my head above water as there is a huge stack of material and computer tools I’m still finding my way through. I’m donating more money to outreach to the poor (probably $200 month or more) and I live in one of the most expensive area codes and we only have 1 income and 12 year old twins.

If you’d like to make some suggestions, I’ll take them into account.

Gritizens, I’m not all down on Christians above all else. We’re all on this planet together and I don’t care what anyone’s faith or sexuality is. If someone needs help, I help them. Period.


Love it, and buying it for my LGBT daughter.