representation in star trek


“Well, when I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.” - Whoopi Goldberg speaking of Nichelle Nichols

“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.‘” -Leslie Jones speaking of Whoopi Goldberg 


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.


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.‘”
‘Star Wars’ actor Diego Luna did not hide his Mexican accent — and Latinos heard it loud
As Pablo Perez watched Captain Cassian Andor speaking in a Mexican accent just like his, “you could just see this huge smile on his face,” his daughter said.

I’ll second this post by saying that my mum (who has a thick Thai accent) gets so excited when she sees Chinese (she is ethnically so) and Thai actors actually appearing in Western films, and gets excited when she sees non-white actors using their true accents and not have them RP’ed in some way. 

Case in point, she got excited several years ago when she saw Fan Bing-Bing in X-Men: Days of Future Past because she was an Asian that appeared in a Western film (however briefly), and one of the reasons she was so excited for Rogue One was because Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen were in it, and that they actually got to speak, and do important things, and weren’t stereotyped but got to do some of the coolest, most heartfelt and humorous things in the film. She got pretty sad when they died because it meant she couldn’t see them in Star Wars any more.

And then she got excited that how out of all the other male heroes, none of them were white, and were also so supportive of a woman - and not a classically model-like, tall, perfect princess looking woman - leading them. She wouldn’t stop talking about it all the way home. It’s for all of the same reasons above that she loves Rey, Finn and Poe from The Force Awakens, and Sulu, Uhura and Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond.

So yes, representation does matter, and it affects not just one person, or is seen in one story, but through lots of people. I just wanted to add to the discussion around it because it is something I am passionate about and is so important, and because often some people think that it’s one minority for themselves, and that representation is just box ticking. This is not the case. Every voice, every motion for exclusivity, is noticed by multiple minorities, and does truly make a difference.


John Cho speaks out in support of Sulu being gay

While George Takei has gone on record against it, John Cho is all for Sulu being gay. In an interview with the A.V. Club, Cho said that he believes they are being true to Gene Roddenberry’s initial intent and that he hopes it will encourage LGBT kids out there. Cho did have one concern though — a narrative one.

anonymous asked:

actually just a little history lesson for ya, genderbending is something that has existed since star trek days and was created by the female fans so that they had more female representation and could have more lesbian ships. so its actually been bastardized by men in fandoms when originally it was a sort of womens representation thing. [think how few lead female roles are in original star trek]

ah dang that’s unfortunate. That’s not necessarily……. less transphobic(???) but still better than it’s sole purpose being for fetishy reasons??

can anyone explain to me why vulcans, a desert race, are as white as northern european people? why not look like anyone who might actually live in a desert climate? there are, of course, a wealth of different skin types in the middle east & african countries but i’m pretty sure the entirety of the population aren’t all whitey mcwhitersons?


If you think about it, the new Star Trek movies are actually a pretty good representation of The Original Series. Hear me out;

First, you have Star Trek (2009) which represents your average TOS episode. They are loved by many, but very rarely chosen as the favorite. (TOS “The Omega Glory”, “I, Mudd”)

Then, you have Into Darkness which is the downright confusing episodes that left you wondering what the writers are on to come up with this shit. (TOS “Spock’s Brain”, “The Savage Curtain”)

Finally, you have Beyond which is the ‘golden episodes’. The ones that are treasured and beloved by everyone, and received acclaims and recognition worldwide. The episodes that define the essence of Star Trek, and the message it sends. (TOS “City On the Edge of Forever”, “Journey to Babel”, “Mirror, Mirror”)