representation in star trek

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Hollywood Is Getting Outsized Credit For Seriously Small Moments Of LGBT Inclusivity
Power Rangers has gotten attention for featuring the "first queer superhero," and Beauty and the Beast was heralded for its "exclusively gay moment." But these scenes feel so sl...
By Alison Willmore

Power Rangers:

So, here’s how the sequence actually goes: Trini and the other Rangers are sharing personal stories around a fire, and Trini explains how she’s preferred to keep her family out of her day-to-day life and her relationships. “Boyfriend trouble?” Black Ranger Zack (Ludi Lin) asks. “Yeah, boyfriend trouble,” Trini says — maybe sarcastically? It’s hard to tell, as Becky G delivers 99% of her lines with a sardonic lilt. Zack squints, then asks, “Girlfriend trouble?” Trini doesn’t respond.

Beauty and the Beast:

The Gaston-adoring sidekick LeFou (Josh Gad) shares a two-second dance with another man in the movie’s finale. It’s a scene, as Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist Glen Weldon put it when he tweeted, that’s “exactly the kind of throwaway gay joke Hollywood’s always churned out.” It wasn’t the only one either — LeFou’s dance partner is a character who, in an earlier scene, is shown being unexpectedly pleased with the women’s clothing he’d been forcefully clad in by a combative Madame Garderobe.

And Star Trek Beyond:

Then there was last year’s Star Trek Beyond, which, also before its release, made the reveal — one treated as a bigger deal in interviews than it ended up being onscreen — that its incarnation of Lt. Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) was gay. It did this by introducing a never-named-on-screen husband, played by screenwriter Doug Jung, who Sulu was shown pulling into an affectionate but not especially nonplatonic embrace during a visit as they strolled away with their daughter. “If you blinked, you missed it,” said George Takei, who played Sulu on the original Star Trek television show. “There are others who are dealing with LGBT issues much more profoundly.”

All three studios made a big deal out of making LGBT characters textual, but they still assume their audiences are just as narrow-minded as they are.

In a world in which How to Get Away With Murder plunked a scene of implied rimming between Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora onto primetime network TV two years ago, it seems particularly eyerolly to give a studio movie a pat on the back for including a shot of two men with their arms around each other, in a totally gay way, they swear.

Link

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So I’ve been overwhelmed by the black panther comicon appearance and I’ve been dwelling on how revolutionary the black panther movie is going to be, what it’s going to mean to countless people when this movie comes out and how long we still have to go, So I decided to put this short photoset together to illustrate exactly how big of a deal it is and how it is bigger than one person.

it’s so bittersweet because when I was younger (especially growing up where I did, a black kid in Finland) I really wished I had more access to imagery and media that reflected who I was because it would have made my life radically different for the better and I wouldn’t be at 26 (STILL) doing damage control but on the flipside, I’m so in awe of all of the beautiful talent in 2016 that younger black kids are able to see and be inspired by.

I think I was like 4 years old when I conciously picked up race and color via watching Disney’s “Aladdin” and I noticed how Jafar, the evil royal guards etc the villains were more ethnic looking or a shade darker than the “good” characters.

it’s insidious because you’re seeing something but at age 4, you don’t have the comprehension skill or knowledge to break it down and see it for what it is (Colorism, Societal bias against black people which is rooted in centuries of white supremacist doctrine, society associates things that are dark/darker colors with evil, danger, ugliness, dirt etc) and reject it.

so you pick it up and see it on a surface level and you think to yourself “well darker must mean ugly, criminal and less human”…then what happens when you look at yourself in the mirror and find out that you are black?


  how is that going to impact how you see yourself?

and guess what? if a 4 year old black kid can pick that up and internalize that about him/her/themselves….then a white kid can sponge up the same language and imagery that dehumanizes black people too (subconciously/conciously)…what happens when when these people grow up? become teachers, doctors, law enforcement etc? what kind of impact is that going to have?

I’m going off on a tangent and that’s just one personal example but society does that on a global grand scale and it is largely unchecked.

but honestly though,look at the photoset and think about how many talented people out there that we love and respect….who would NOT have achieved the things they did if it wasn’t for another person before them inspiring them to reach their goals and acting as trail blazers when it seemed as though it was impossible….then think about the flipside and how many people, with all the potential in the world, never lived to become great because they were met with more images dehumanizing them than ones uplifting them…this is why the fight for HONEST representation is important and it continues.

argh, I didn’t plan on typing anything but I got in my feelings after watching this again

…anyway, here are some pictures to make you smile, the next gen gives me hope

and if none of that gets you going, here is a video of Michael Jackson surprising James Brown on stage and then thanking him for being his biggest influence (BET awards, 2003)

So like I get that people have this issue with Star Trek taking so long to have a canonically queer principle character, and I get that people kind of take issue with there being a sort of ‘qualifier’ on Jadzia/Lenara as they were husband and wife in their previous lives, but I also feel like a lot of people don’t appreciate how incredible this story was?

The Jadzia/Lenara story revolved around two characters who were forbidden from being together by the taboos and laws of their culture. And it wasn’t just a metaphor - they actually used two women. This is a queer story about two women who aren’t allowed to be together because of their cultural norms. Any signs of affection between them were seen as inherently wrong, risky, dangerous etc. Lenara works under the constant, watchful eye of her brother, who continually makes his opinion about his ~concern~ for her known. And eventually Jadzia has to choose between the woman she loves and the life she wants because she won’t be allowed to have both - if she begins a relationship with this woman, her life as she knows it is over and shew ill be ostracized from her society, never allowed to re-enter it. And every moment of it is believable and full of beautifully painful affection…

Originally posted by concreteangel1221

In 1995 they shamelessly presented a wlw love story complete with longing, affectionate looks, confessions of love, and kisses. And like Kira Nerys says “I don’t understand how two people who’ve fallen in love and made a life together can be forced to walk away from each other because of a taboo!” Like… they weren’t be subtle about this at all.


As for the “qualifier” that somehow makes it less queer….? These two people carry the memories of a man and woman who used to be married, so I guess a lot of people saw this story as a second-hand het love story, but to me that was a really important part of the story because it presented this wlw relationship as totally equal to a het marriage. Their love is intense, believable, and on par with a male/female relationship.

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When I was young, my dad always let me listen to comedy albums. I always knew about comedy, I always loved comedy.The day that I saw Whoopi Goldberg on television, I cried so hard, because I kept looking at my daddy going, ‘Oh my god. there’s somebody on TV that looks like me! She looks like me! Yay! I can be on TV! I can be on TV! I can do it! Look at her look at her! she looks just like me.‘”

Maybe it’s because I’m from a country where being gay is not as acceptable in society as much as it is in countries like America but I appreciate the little LGBT moments in blockbuster films. I definitely don’t think Hollywood should be getting such huge praise for these little moments but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the fact that those moments are in the film. People in my country won’t watch films like films like Moonlight or Carol (even if their Oscar winners) but they’ll watch films like Power Rangers, Star Trek and Beauty and the Beast. These films may not have best kind of LGBT representation, especially compared to how explicit this stuff is on tv but it’s better than nothing in some less liberal counties. So as someone who isn’t straight, I really want these movies to be more explicit with their LGBT characters but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate smaller moments too, because in some countries even the small stuff like this helps

um so i HATE seeing the lgbt representation of power rangers lumped in with the nearly non-existent representation in beauty and the beast as “these instances of representation aren’t good enough”

because the representation in beauty and the beast?? yeah, it wasn’t good enough. almost anytime it was addressed, it was a joke, and to be honest if they hadn’t announced lefou was gay beforehand, i would have just taken them as jokes. this kind of rep is absolutely useless to lgbt kids, especially because a lot of them won’t have access buzzfeed articles raving about how brave disney is for including a gay character in the year of our lord 2017

whereas in in power rangers, the scene takes place in a quiet moment when the teenagers are getting to know each other better. the “girlfriend troubles?” line isn’t played as a joke, trini having “girlfriend troubles” is presented as a genuine possibility, it isn’t followed by denial. a girl having a girlfriend, or girlfriend troubles, is shown as a real option in a kids movie and isn’t part of a joke at all. so yeah, while it was a small moment, imo it did a lot more in the way of providing representation than the whole of beauty and the beast ever did

I would encourage them to key into the essence and spirit of ‘Star Trek’ that has made it the legacy it is — and that’s looking across the way to the person sitting in front of you and realizing you are the same, that they are not separate from you, and we are all one.


That’s something ‘Star Trek’ has always upheld and I completely believe that is why it’s been a mainstay in society in the hearts of so many people for so many decades. I would encourage them to look past their opinions and social conditioning and key into what we’re doing here — which is telling a story about humanity that will hopefully bring us all together.


And it’s hard to understand and appreciate ‘Star Trek’ if you don’t understand and appreciate that. It’s one of the foundational principles of ‘Star Trek’ and I feel if you miss that then you miss the legacy itself.


I’m incredibly proud to be the lead of this show and be at the forefront of an iteration of ‘Star Trek’ that’s from the eyes of a black woman that’s never been done before, though obviously there’s been other forms of diversity that have been innovated by ‘Trek.’


I feel like we’re taking another step forward, which I think all stories should do. We should go boldly where nobody has gone before and stay true to that.

— 

Sonequa Martin-Green on Star Trek: Discovery - June 22, 2017 Entertainment Weekly (X)

  • Someone: But wouldn't it be more progressive if Kirk or Spock came out as gay instead?? Bc he's a protagonist?
  • Me: But wouldn't it be progressive if people could stop cringing at positive POC LGBTQIA+ representation, especially when Asian males are always desexualized or romantic failures or getting sexually humiliated by white people (oftentimes at the expense of asian women) in most mainstream depictions, and yeah, I get that Sulu's not an MC but he's still a cultural icon??? tbh I get it already white dudes can be queer, and look if McCoy were gay instead would you really be saying this? saying a racial minority shouldn't also be considered a sexual minority is reducing us to a single aspect of identity and thats shitty