For many years now it’s been commented on that while much of the Star Trek universe is about tolerance and different races of humanoids learning to live and work alongside one another, there’s a severe lack of gay people in Starfleet.
There have been LGBT people in the expanded universe of novels, but on TV and in the movies, everything has been very heterosexual. Even when there were inter-alien species coupling, they were always a male and a female. So could things change with 2016’s Star Trek 3?
Don’t hold your breath, but the film’s director, Roberto Orci (who also co-wrote both Star Trek & Star Trek Into Darkness), seems open to the idea. Talking to the Humans From Earth podcast (via Trek Movie), he was asked about the possibility of having an identifiably LGBT character in the film, saying “I would like to see that.”
He added, “It can be part of a character and not be the whole shebang…It doesn’t’ have to be like South Park, like ‘what have we learned today.’ It can be so normalized that it just exists. I agree it can’t be shoe-horned in. And it is not necessary for it to be the whole point of the thing. It is an ensemble and there are lots of people to represent so no one point of view should hog it.”
Of course that’s far from saying it will actually happen, and those in charge of the franchise have been saying similar things ever since Gene Roddenberry suggested gay people could be part of the Next Generation universe back in the late 1980s. However every time they’ve found an excuse not to do it. But who knows, just maybe it will happen this time – even an acknowledgement gay people exist in the future would be a step forward.