this happens every dang time guys

Deep Space Nine RECAP: 6x19

Time to recap another fave of the hivemind! Let’s see what you guys picked for me this time…

[returns] Well gosh dang do you all ever love Benjamin Sisko In A Crisis Of Morality! DRAMA. ETHICS. And, new: INTRIGUE, which also goes by the name GARAK, thank u.

Season 6, Episode 19: ‘In the Pale Moonlight’

Curtain opens on Ben Sisko in his quarters, starting a personal log. I was about to take a sidebar about how amused I am by the whole concept of officers keeping personal logs, because every time one happens I think about how in the earliest days of TOS the writers clearly said to themselves hey, y’know what would be a convenient way to get our characters to monologue about their inner thoughts and feelings? A Starfleet culture of keeping audio diaries. Anyhow that device turns out to be THE ENTIRE FRAMEWORK OF THIS EPISODE, a-lol.

“I need to talk about this,” Ben says, out loud. “I have to justify what’s happened, what I’ve done. At least to myself.” Like, yes you first-person narrator of a Victorian horror story, take us back, make us understand how you will forever be A Changed Man after this Experience. What a classic opening.

[chuckling appreciably]

No one is chuckling in this first flashback scene though. It’s the grim weekly ritual of his crew filing in to check the list of Starfleet officers missing or confirmed dead that Sisko posts on the wall of the wardroom. Ben hates Fridays now.

Evidently the Federation is losing a lot of ships to Jem’Hadar sneak attacks from around the Romulan border. The Romulans had signed that nonaggression treaty with the Dominion a while back, and are apparently planning on turning a blind eye, not getting involved, and generally just sitting back and letting all their enemies destroy each other in their drawn-out war. If the Romulans were to join forces with the Klingons and the Federation, then maybe our guys would stand a chance against the Dominion, but as stands, they’re likely to continue taking these losses, possibly until they lose the whole thing.

Sisko has had it.

Personal Log VO: “That was the moment I made the decision. It was like I had stepped through a door, and locked it behind me. I was going to bring the Romulans into the war.”


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So here's a story....

I live down in South Carolina, and down in SC things are a bit more tense when it comes to LGBT+ things and alternative lifestyles and just plain ole looking different. I tend to run around looking a lot more femme there just so, you know, no one gets it in their heads to come after me with stakes and pitchforks because I’m a genderfluid quasi-bisexual* gothic transman. And looking femme actually does prevent this because everyone thinks I’m so frickin adorable, they just say “hello darlin’ honey child, aren’t you jus’ the cutest dang thing I ever seen!” and go about their business.

(*it’s easier than specifying pan-romantic demi- heterosexual all the time)

Switch to the place I go every week, Brookgreen Gardens. There’s a guy that works there and sees me every time and chats me up every time. And we’ve become friendly, but he clearly wants more than just “being friends” and 1) I’m not much into guys, 2) I’m not much into him, and 3) he works where I go EVERY WEEK and that would be awkward if Things Happened. But as I said, we did get friendly. And then one day he asked me why my friends refer to me with he/him/his pronouns, and one of my friend-turned-adopted-siblings called me “brother” and why I said “best man” when I was telling him about my friend’s wedding. So I braced myself and told him, “I’m transgender.”

I thought, here we go! Here’s the Nice Guy flip-out I’m waiting for! But he was chill and nodded and said, “okay” (like you should), and then added, “I still think you’re a beautiful woman and I would really like to go out with you.”

Now, okay, this did immediately get my hackles up because I’ve been conditioned to think based on past precedent from nearly 90% of people “omgs, he’s disrespecting my pronouns AFTER I TOLD HIM” and then I stopped and froze. And I realised, “oh, he has never seen me in pants or with short hair or without nicely-displayed puppies and while that isn’t a gender indicator, not everyone stops and pauses and asks – he thinks I’m a transwoman.” And I was REALLY HAPPY because this guy did what I think should be standard protocol in acceptance, but he still totally blew my expectations out of the water.

I did have to explain things to him and tell him that we just have to stick to friendship, but I thought it was really cool and really awesome and I’m very happy to have met someone in the South who is more accepting and open-minded than many of my gay and lesbian acquaintances in more LGBT+ friendly parts of the country.