Friday, June 7, 2013

A Meditation on the Cultures of Star Trek and Homosexuality

In a fit of boredom last night, I started thinking about A) how there's no characters of non-hetero sexuality in all of Star Trek and how annoyed that makes me which then made me start thinking about B) how would homosexuality be received in the weirdly uniform cultures of the various alien races that inhabit the alpha quadrant.

Humans: It's the goddamned 23rd-24th century in Star Trek. I think we've gotten to the point where it's normal and perfectly accepted by then. We've got 150 years, we can live up to that standard.

Vulcans: This is the one that really started me thinking. Socially, Vulcans seem like they'd be perfectly cool with it. They love deeply and, logically, it doesn't matter what gender the person you love is. Thus, the logical conclusion is that homosexuality would be perfectly acceptable in Vulcan society. BUT. Does pon farr require two people of opposite sex? Otherwise, there's gonna be some difficulty what with the whole going insane and trying to murder people if you can't get laid. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.

Klingons: Klingons are extremely warlike, but also very egalitarian. Women are not subservient in Klingon culture, they are glorious warriors like their male counterparts. As such, in a culture that treats its women as equals, I see no reason why that same bond of violence and love can't happen between people of the same gender. Also, I mean, a bunch of Klingons drunk on blood wine and the victory of a glorious bloody battle seem like they'd be pretty likely to engage in victory sex and not really care too much about who is who anymore because they're all equally honorable in their victory.

Romulans: Oh my gosh, I have no idea. Have we even seen a heterosexual relationship between Romulans in Star Trek? Are they even capable of having relationships or do they just manipulate each other into having children? I don't even know. The concept of any sort of Romulan relationship is blowing my mind. That said, Romulan uniforms suggest a distinct lack of fashion designers in Romulan culture so uh maybe it's not a thing.

Trill: The only race to have a homosexual pairing in the history of Star Trek, albeit for only one episode. Joined Trills are two species: the host and the symbiote. The host is whatever sex and gender, but the symbiote is ungendered but has the memories of many people of many genders. Thus, joined Trills have no real problem with it: who cares? They've been all the genders. And if it's find with joined Trills, I'm sure it's cool with the unjoined ones too.

Ferengi: Ferengi are extremely non-egalitarian. Women are strictly subservient and it's all really pretty terrible. I'm having a hard time imagining a homosexual relationship in Ferengi culture as a result. It seems like men in Ferengi culture are constantly supposed to be competing with each other and, as such, a homosexual union would be looked down upon. Quark is the only character in Star Trek to have had some gay panic and I can see why. Ferengi are awful. Worst culture.

Cardassians: Hmm. Like Romulans, Cardassians are very manipulative and militaristic. But, unlike Romulans, there's a really big emphasis on family in Cardassian culture. Caring for your children and continuing your family line is paramount in Cardassian relationships, it seems. As such, I find it possible that unions that don't produce children would be frowned upon in Cardassian culture- homosexual or heterosexual. But it is a future society so maybe they're also fine with finding alternate means to do so?

Changlings/Founders: They don't have sexes. They seem to have some sort of gender but, as with everything they do, it's pretty fluid. They usually exist in a constant state of being in the galaxy's biggest space orgy. Not an issue.

Q: Uh. Yeah. Totally. I imagine the Q invent entirely new sexes and genders just to try to reinvent sex. I'm reasonably sure there has to be at least one Q whose entire life mission is to have sex with every single entity in the universe. They are the Q. They're like the Greek gods times 1000.