Star Trek has been all about unity in diversity, so including the much-celebrated gender of the generation should be a natural course for Star Trek to take.
The LGBT movement has just recently received its much-needed bump, when the entirety of the United States of America legalized same-sex marriage in June of this year. While this is just a small win for the LGBT community, the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. has been a huge turning moment, since the move has since jumpstarted many legal actions and talks in governments around the world — such as in Australia.
This is why as Star Trek creates a new series, the inclusion of an LGBT character should only be natural, given the times. Star Trek has been all about breaking boundaries and traditions, transcending the racial and cultural boundaries set by its generation. Overmental notes that Star Trek creator, producer, and writer Gene Roddenberry has envisioned Star Trek as such.
“Star Trek is all about breaking down the barriers of society in an effort to bring us together in favor of a vision that transcends current cultural boundaries. When Gene Roddenberry envisioned the United Federation of Planets, he saw a place where every race, religion, and sexual orientation was accepted without question. After all, it’s no accident the command crew of the original Enterprise was multicultural – an edict that every Star Trek series since has followed.”
In fact, looking back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, both Star Trek spinoff TV series made sure that its leads were a black man and a woman. Understandably, both Star Trek spinoff TV series were made during the 1990s, when the primary issue was still the discrimination against women and black people. While there certainly still isn’t total equality between men and women and between white and people of color in today’s time, the plea of the LGBT community is the defining fight of this generation. And it is only high time for Star Trek to include a gay or lesbian captain in their diverse lineup, to further boost its progressive image.
Overmental points out how Star Trek set the bar in terms of defying the status quo. It was Star Trek: The Original Series that featured the first televised interracial kiss in 1968, when the issue of race still impacted people around the world immensely. Almost 30 years later, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,Star Trek features one of the first lesbian kisses made on TV. And Star Trek: Deep Space Nine chose to show this in the era where the gay rights movement was hotter and more active than ever.
More and more TV shows are coming out featuring LGBT relationships. Some shows like Orange is the New Black is even taking it two steps further by putting the LGBT plight front and center. But while TV shows like these speak vastly about this generation’s acceptance of the LGBT community, putting a gay, lesbian, or even a queer captain at the command of the Star Fleet will make a huge statement like no other. Gay people serving in the military is still an issue of this generation. Put a gay or lesbian captain, a respected, firm, and high-ranking space military commander on that show and let it speak for itself. It could be done. And it should be.
Star Trek’s series is launching this coming January, 2017, and will stream in CBS’ All Access platform, with a subscription price of $5.99 a month. What the new Star Trek series is about is still up for debate, but InformationWeek has put in its two cents on what the Star Trek series should cover, such as a more active federation and a Klingon captain.
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