Blog Prompt #10 – Character Sexuality/Relationship Mixes

Blog Prompt #10 – Character Sexuality/Relationship Mixes

We see it all the time. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Etc. etc. etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But that’s not what always happens in real life. Sometimes, boy meets boy. Or girl meets girl. Or someone wants to change genders. Or someone is attracted to more than one gender.

Plus, in canon, there are relationships that cross species lines, and there are marriages that are between more than two individuals.

IDIC

According to a 2011 Williams Institute study, about 3.5% of the United States identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

If the percentage holds true, then the NX-01, which had 83 crew members, would have had three gay, lesbian or bisexual persons on board. The Enterprise-E, a Sovereign class, which had about 885 crew members, would have had thirty-one.

This does not include other species’ preferences, nor does it include persons who mainly identify as heterosexual but might engage in some same-sex relationships or behaviors such as bi-curiosity or heteroflexibility. It further does not include species known to have marriages with more than two persons participating, such as Denobulans and Andorians, and does not include persons who might identify as asexual.

Interspecies Relationships

Every single series has contained at least one interspecies relationship. Here are the best-known exemplars.

In Enterprise, T’Pol and Trip fall in love and have two children, albeit both are born under strange circumstances and do not survive in the prime timeline.

Blog Prompt #10 – Character Sexuality/Relationship Mixes

Sarek and Amanda (TOS)

 

TOS‘s Sarek and Amanda are of course Spock’s parents. In the related TAS, Scotty and M’Ress have a romance.

TNG gave us Will and Deanna, who eventually wed in the movie-verse.

DS9‘s interspecies relationships included Worf and Jadzia marrying, and Odo and Kira falling in love.

VOY‘s contribution to the genre was the courtship and marriage of B’Elanna and Tom.

In JJ Abrams’ Trek, the Sarek and Amanda relationship is reprised and is joined by a relationship between Spock and Nyota Uhura.

 

Your Questions, Should You Choose to Accept Them

  • There has been a dearth of even minor characters with, shall we say, less mainstream sexual preferences and relationships. Often, a character would behave in this fashion if in the Mirror universe, or under some sort of duress. How would you change that?
  • What would happen to canon characters if their preferences or their relationships were changed? Beyond the obvious choice of bed partners, how would known characters change?
  • Are there circumstances under which characters would behave differently but still within the fullest context of canon?
  • Have you created any original characters who follow less mainstream preference/relationship models? How do you get across their inner workings without continually announcing in every other paragraph something like, I’m gay! Now, let’s get a pizza. ?
  • Television programs and films naturally cater to worldwide audiences and have investors for which they need to show profits. That can hamper all forms of creativity, including the creation of less mainstream characters of any sort, and not just in the sexual arena (e. g. minorities, obese persons, persons with disabilities, etc.). Throw away the budget! How would you rewrite a canon episode or film to showcase a character (main or not) with a less-mainstream preference?

Bonus questions!

  • Have you read others’ non-mainstream characters? Which are your favorites? Which relationships are the most believable? Which scenarios, outside of relationships, are most believable for these characters?
  • Again, throwing away the budget, what would you do if you could make your own new Star Trek series from scratch, where at least one or two characters would be out of the mainstream? How would you handle showing the differences for HBO, or PBS, or ABC Family, if any of those networks deigned to carry your show?
  • Do you read slash (male-male relationships) or femme slash (female-female relationships), either on Ad Astra or elsewhere? Aside from PWP, how did the authors bring home ideas about their characters’ sexuality? Was it clichéd? Did it succeed? Was it hit or miss?

BoldlyReading-white
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3 Comments

  1. SLWalker
    Sep 23, 2013

    Actually, IIRC, Scotty snd M’Ress had a brief, outside influenced flirtation that ended by the end of the half-hour with them most emphatically not liking each other anymore. Not quite sure you’d be able to slot that one into a relationship. Even if you could, it’s barely.

  2. jespah
    Sep 23, 2013

    Well, it’s … close. Truth is, it’s quite a while since I saw TAS.

    But I do like the idea that all of the series showed at least something, and it was no big deal in the sense that people were of different looks. In the 60s, it was a metaphor for interracial and inter religious dating. Now, it’s probably more of a metaphor for same-sex relationships.

    • SLWalker
      Sep 24, 2013

      Here here. Even the flirtation was nothing to sneeze at.

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