Rebellions are built on hope

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What does Star Trek mean to me?

Now that’s a question right there. I’m sure we all have our own answers because of the rich history of this franchise that has woven itself into so many of our lives.

I love the starships (shout out to the lost Enteprise-E) and the pew pew pew and so many of the series and characters.

But for me Star Trek means hope. Because you know “rebellions are built on hope”. Oh wait. Wrong franchise.

Ok let’s get this out of the way. I’m transgendered. Being a child of the 70s there was no internet or way to easily figure out why I felt “wrong”. Why how I looked on the outside didn’t match how I felt on the inside. And in entertainment trans people were either comedians in drag or porn stars.  Not much else. It wasn’t easy struggling with (and burying) how I felt about my gender and it took me 48 years to finally come out.

Anyway, I remember sitting down as a kid with my Dad one day to watch this thing called Star Trek.

And wow. What a revelation.

Now we know that Star Trek took its time for proper LGBTQ+ representation but back then it was more than that. Here was a group of people working together irrespective of their background, colour, religion etc. I mean even the alien Mr Spock was fully accepted. As Kirk once said “leave any bigotry in your quarters. There’s no room for it on the bridge.” And to me it meant that maybe there was a future that would accept anyone. Even me.

That there was hope.

I absorbed the hell out of Trek. From the reruns of The Original Series, books, comics, films and then along came The Next Generation. And now we had a blind guy flying the ship, and a Klingon on the crew. Still limited LGBTQ+ representation but there were glimmers with “The Outcast” and “The Host”.
Then Deep Space 9 came along (and let’s be honest we all know that everyone was bisexual on that station) and with it Jadzia Dax arrived. And wow. Up to this point she’d been a woman 3 times and a man 4 times . She was even called “old man” affectionately by Sisko even though she was now a young woman.
And to me a trans character had finally appeared on screen. And it made me cry. Hope had started to become a reality.

It still took time, but we are now in an age of Trek where we have had a lot of LGBTQ+ representation from Stamets, Culber, Gray and Adira in Discovery to Mariner in Lower Decks and of course Raffi and Seven in Picard.

But for me the icing on the cake was seeing Jesse James Keitel playing Captain Angel on Strange New Worlds. First, what a fantastic character but also here was a trans woman in Star Trek right as I was finally out as trans and starting my transition. It just filled my heart with such joy and I hope we see her again or a trans woman as a regular on a future crew (looking at you Star Trek Legacy).

At the moment being a trans person is hard. Society seems to have gone backwards as politicians and the media use us as a pawn in a culture war. As laws are put in place to limit rights or restrict medical care. The hate and bigotry is so hard to deal with at times that it’s just emotionally and mentally heartbreaking.

But Star Trek gave me hope. It still gives me hope. Hope that one day we will acknowledge our infinite diversity in infinite combinations and finally reach our potential.

Ad Astra Per Aspera 

Picture of Connie

Connie

“All love is unrequited. All of it” 🖖🏻🏳️‍⚧️

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