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Star Trek goes gay

Star Trek goes gay

Star Trek fans are known for their obsessive devotion to the show, and the numerable gay Trekkies are equally loyal to the object of their affection.

Despite the huge gay following, Star Trek has always lacked a definitive LGBT character. This omission has proven a hot topic for fans who like nothing better than to spend days in chat rooms discussing subtexts, Star Trek conventions, allegories, analogies, and possible queer symbolism.

Now, a fan site called "Star Trek: New Voyages," which produces homespun but highly slick short movies, is making a queer Web episode whose genesis is celebrated in Star Trek fandom as "Blood and Fire."

This story will center around Capt. James T. Kirk's nephew, Ensign Peter Kirk (played by Bobby Rice), and his boyfriend, Lt. Alex Freeman (Evan Fowler). It is scheduled to shoot in June.

As with Batman, X-Men, and, er, the Teletubbies, queer readings of Star Trek are quite common. In the original science-fiction TV series (1966-1969), the characters of Kirk and his Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock share what many see as a suspiciously close friendship.

Nothing ever happens between them, but there's a definite strong bond that stems from mutual admiration and an almost fraternal trust. Their pseudo-homo love for each other has inspired an entire genre of erotic writing known as "Kirk/Spock" or "K/S."

In 1987, the creator of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry, went on record to say there would be gay characters in the upcoming new series. This "pink promise" was made following a fan's queries at a science fiction convention.

Inspired by this seemingly liberal development, science fiction writer David Gerrold penned an episode featuring two male Enterprise crew members who happened to be a gay couple. A subplot involved an allegory about discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS. The working title of this unproduced episode was "Blood and Fire."

Gerrold has since claimed that while most of the TNG cast and crew (including Roddenberry) were supportive of the story line, it got short shrift from the studio, and the script never made it out of the closet. The precise reason the script was never produced has become a source of intergalactic myth-making and speculation.

It seems that the fallout stemming from the nonproduction of the legendary "Blood and Fire" continues to this day. Fueled by anger and misperceptions of his work, Gerrold apparently sold copies of the script to fans at Trekkie conventions. He has now updated the script for Star Trek: New Voyages.

Dave Cross reflects on the gay appeal of Star Trek: "I think it's a great shame that Roddenberry died [in 1991] before he could push through a proper gay story line and that the networks were too cowardly to do so, but without a doubt Star Trek did push the barriers of social comment on popular TV and its central theme of a future where mankind actually gets along no matter what our race, gender, age, hairline, or even species is a very positive one that I think appeals to a gay audience. Why else would the show have such a huge pink audience?" (Stewart Who?, Gay.com/U.K.)

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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