I love “Star Trek.” I don’t think there’s any franchise more central to my geek life. There’s a lot of unreal universes out there that I enjoy learning about, but I’m sure there’s none that I would more like to actually live in than the optimistic idea of our future that is “Star Trek.”
The ’60s-produced original series included a woman of color bridge officer who was cited as an inspiration by Mae Jemison (who became the first black woman in space) and Whoopi Goldberg (who ended up a “Star Trek” star herself). The more recent series’ increased speculative-science focus led Stephen Hawking, on a visit to the “Next Generation” set, to say “I’m working on that” when passing the warp core prop.
There’s so much to feel positive about in “Star Trek,” and over the decades it’s generally done a fine job of showing us how we could, and should, be. But there’s one particular area of social justice that the franchise has failed to live up to its standards on, and it remains a blight on the series in my estimation. I’m talking about the fact that there has never, despite years of promises and false starts, been an openly gay or lesbian character in the canon “Star Trek” universe.
But I have a proposal to change that. J.J. Abrams, if you’re listening, I think you should make Sulu gay. Read more…