“Out of the Closet and into the Universe: Queers and Star Trek” by Henry Jenkins

“Out of the Closet and into the Universe: Queers and Star Trek” by Henry Jenkins

Caesarea Mushroom

This post is concerned with “Out of the Closet and into the Universe: Queers and Star Trek” by Henry Jenkins. Even though this piece is nominally about homosexuality vis a vis popular culture, the writer’s unifying field is not an idea, however, but an emotion, the unmoored nostalgia for an unrealized past that manifests as an incurable yearning projected upon the present and future.

Jenkins article, reprinted in 2004 without updates that would have allowed for the recognition of another Star Trek spin-off television series, Deep Space Nine, which provided a deeper consideration of gendering and alterity subjects, discusses a sort of popularly-based movement fomented by fans of the sequel to the original Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, to have an “openly” gay character join the multicultural, multispecies Enterprise crew. Further wishes included incidental portrayals of gay behavior, such as ambient, non-storyline driven asides to shots of men kissing and so on. There is certainly a genuine sweetness to the Trekkie fandom community amid the fanaticism attendant to the science fiction/fantasy core crowd.

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