How Gay Is Your Star Trek?
By Matt Vella
Daddy alert! When heartthrob Ricardo Montalban starred in the 1967 episode “Space Seed,” he looked pretty fine and handsome. By the time his character came back, in the 1982 movie Wrath of Khan, Montalban was 61 years old, but looked like he’d been marooned for the 15 intervening years in a gym. Or, as the movie posited, on a hostile world where only supermen (and women) could survive. Whatever. After a decade and a half of working out, Montalban had a set of pecs you could crack walnuts on. And a set of walnuts you could... er, nevermind.
What can we say? She would have been right at home on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She had hair as stiff as a helmet, she lusted after Spock, and was, really, just, splendidly gay. Without actually being gay, of course.
Kirk and Spock Duel
You know the one, the lads are fighting with giant cocktail-stirrers in an alien arena (in case that doesn’t narrow it down enough, it’s “Amok Time,” which aired in 1967). The dull part of the plot is that Spock must mate with his wife (T’Pring), whom he’s never actually done the deed with, as they were betrothed as kids. If he doesn’t have sex he’ll die, you see. The interesting part is when Spock fights Kirk and cuts Kirk’s nylon shirt open right across the nipples, exposing a fairly defined chest but no sign of abs as such. It gets better (i.e., gayer) when Spock thinks he’s killed Kirk, and announces that having done so, he’s lost all desire for T’Pring. Which is pretty queer, all in all.
That Vulcan Thing
For a supposedly emotionless species, they’re pretty touchy-feely. From the mind-meld to the death-grip, it seemed not a minute went past without Spock laying his hands on someone. And not innocently, either: “I need to touch your face so’s we can link minds and fully understand each other,” is quite a pickup line. And if that fails, a pinch on the shoulder and the guy passes out, anyway -- either way, the Vulcan gets his man. And those eyebrows -- anyone with that much attention to personal grooming, right? Right? Right.
Deep Space Nine
Deep Space Nine -- late 1990s Star Trek spin-off or hardcore gay porn? The questionable subtitle aside, this particular series took place in a remote space station with the distinct feel of a lost prison. Even if wasn't quite Oz in space, this was easily one of the more ambiguous periods in the franchise.
Rick Santorum the former conservative Pennsylvania Senator -- and major dick -- famously compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality in the same breath ("you know, man on child, man on dog..."). Santorum was likely not a fan of Star Trek, with its multiple forays into interspecies dating. In fact, Wikipedia handily lists the following intergalactic hook ups as examples: a Human and a Trill, a Human and an Elaysian, a Human and a Betazoid, a Human and a Deltan, a Human and an Orion, a Klingon and a Trill, a Klingon and a Ferengi, a Ferengi and a Cardassian, a Ferengi and a Bajoran, a Bajoran and a Changeling...
Again, YouTube says it all. Patrick Stewart, a.k.a. Captain Jean-Luc Picard at the helm of Star Trek: The Next Generation, has a penchant for song and dance, Shakespeare, and when he appeared opposite out super-villain Ian McKellen in another geekfest franchise, X-Men, there was, well, a spark.
The Most Toys
In this episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Data (the androidy one with a penchant for pancake makeup) is kidnapped by an evil -- and clearly queer -- art collector. What makes him gay? As if being an older man who likes collecting living dolls isn't indication enough, at one point he tells Data, "Personally, I'd be delighted to see you go around naked. I assume you have no modesty." (Do androids have junk anyway?) Whether he has nefarious sexual plans or just can't bear to look at Data's grotesque mustard yellow uniform anymore, either way, gay gay gay.
Blood and Fire
Though it may sound like a euphemism for hemorrhoids, "Blood and Fire" is actually the most famous gay Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that never was. The original script involved two male crew members lovin' up on each other while an AIDS-like disease ravaged the universe. Epic. Rumors abound about why the episode was killed: The producers were homophobic! No -- the studio heads were homophobic! One of the gay characters was written as ultra-butch while the other was a big ol' lisping nelly... In the end writer David Gerrord was so fed up he sold copies of the script at sci-fi conventions so people could make up their own minds -- and he donated most of the proceeds to the real world AIDS Project Los Angeles.