Yeah, make the Asian guy gay. That's the EASY fix, isn't it Mr. Wohl? Amazing how having a gay Asian character is so easily palatable to the average American viewer. Not even a thought as to making McCoy or Scotty gay/pansexual - way too "manly," right?
|"I thought you'd like the ears, Hikaru..."|
As for Wohl's argument that, because all other six characters had hetero relations in the original series, it falls to Sulu to take up the mantel? He later points out, in the same article, that Sulu having a daughter on the bridge of the Enterprise B doesn't imply his heterosexuality. So why doesn't that standard apply to the other six characters? Is it because no gay man has ever slept with a woman, nor no lesbian ever lost her gold star? Convenient how he once again ignored the possibility of pansexuality amongst any of the other characters.
He also ignores or dismisses dozens of episodes from the various Star Trek series that DO contain queer characters or themes, never mind the books and other licensed materials, so that he can cling to a faulty initial premise that Star Trek is lacking on the subject of LGBT issues. Devoting a half-dozen paragraphs to multiple citations of LGBT behavior and characters across the entire franchise doesn't exactly support the hypothesis that Star Trek hasn't done a good job of addressing those aspects of our culture.
And I'm curious what exactly Wohl thinks is wrong with "The Outcast" as a morality tale on the evils of a sexuality conformist culture? Because all he did in his mention of it was to say it was a poorly chosen allegory and then proceed to completely misrepresent the actual premise and message of the episode. Also, nice to ignore the fact that this episode now aired over TWENTY years ago - I realize that as Star Trek fans all the episodes exist in a very present to us, but please recognize that this bit of writing was pretty ahead of the curve back in 1992.
The fact is, I'd personally be fine if they made Sulu gay or pansexual. But I would be fine if they did that with ANY of the characters. Make them all pansexual, even paragon of fratboy heterosexuality Captain Kirk. As long as it had some relevance to either the story itself, or made us somehow care about the characters more, thus heightening the stakes for the story.
No, the problem I have with Dan Wohl's suggestion that Sulu be gay is that his REASONS why it HAS to be Sulu SUUUUUCCCK! Ultimately, they're simply more of the thinly veiled stereotypes of the Asian male that have been floating around the American media landscape since the U.S. got involved in three consecutive wars in Asia in the 20th Century.
Anyway, the biggest challenge the Star Trek franchise has ever faced isn't having a gay character... it's having a good villain. 2 for 11? Come on, guys...