Admiral Harmon

Was Jadzia Dax the first transgender major character of ST?

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I have been rewatching DS9, and I was watching the episode "Invasive Procedure" where a stuttering Trill steals the Dax symbiot for a short time. As I was watching the episode, and the idea of the hosts being different genders being pretty heavy that episode, an epiphany hit me.

It's that Jadzia Dax might actually supposed to be a transgender character. She originally was a man, Curzon Dax and had changed genders many times. We know they used her to address homosexual relations (although as a woman she was almost strictly straight excluding the episode Rejoined, where she almost hooked up with a Joined Trill she was married with in a previous life).

So was she also supposed to be representative of the transgender community? And is she supposed to represent the struggle of those who do sex changes?

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From the writers perspective: Given how utterly ridiculously they handled things in that episode with Quark when they "turned him into a woman" for nothing but some cheap laughs and cringeworthy sexism, my bet is on a firm "no". Granted, they were more open on DS9 than TNG (where the director of the episode "The Host" compared transgender people to cockroaches) but things were still nowhere near any kind of actual strong representation. In this particular case, things are also due to it being the 90s. Back then things weren't like they are today when people at least have a rudimentary knowledge of what "transgender" means (along with tons of misconceptions, sure, but the basic idea is more widely known).

But even from an in-universe perspective the comparison doesn't hold up. Trill don't feel gender dysphoria. They "change gender" because their host's gender changes, not because of gender dysphoria. AND they go back and forth, one host is a man, the next is a woman, and then the next might be a man again - also something that transgender folks certainly do NOT do. I also don't see her struggling much with anything, I see her being like "oh you know I used to be a man, I have advice here", all said with a smile, no cringing, no uncomfortableness, maybe a brief time of adjustment and then life goes on. Also, if you called a transgender lady who was unfortunate enough to have been born with a male body "old man" over and over again because "you knew them when they were the opposite gender", like Sisko does with Jadzia, you'd end up getting punched because something like this is one of the rudest and most inconsiderate things you can do to a transgender person.

Tl;dr: There is no transgender representation whatsoever here. If anything, Jadzia represents genderFLUID people, in a somewhat crude way.

I also don't see what "homosexual relationships" have to do with being transgender, gender has nothing to do with sexuality, the percentage of homosexuality in transgender folks is about the same as in cisgender folks, meaning: Some are, but the majority of transgender people is straight. However, since it's clear that gender doesn't seem to matter much to Jadzia when it comes to attraction (see "Rejoined" indeed), I would say that, if anything, she represents bi/pan folks, who DO feel represented by her sometimes, so there IS something here worth investigating.

In essence: Jadzia Dax is not, in any way, a representative of the transgender community. Genderfluid, however, yeah, I could see that, in some way, but not really very explicitly. But  not transgender. For that kind of representation you have to look at TNG's "The Outcast". Soren is transgender, but since they never intended to address THAT fact in the episode and tried to make it about homosexuality - with the help of a straight transgender woman, ironically - it's all a big, big mess. Still, Soren DOES represent transgender folks. They had it, and they blew it spectacularly, to no one's surprise, but the fact that she represents still stands.

 

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^

Mr. Picard pretty much took the words out of my keyboard; Dax isn't transgender in that she doesn't have the dysphoria usually associated with transgenderism.  When she was male, she was male.  When she was female, she was female.  But the fact that she knows what it is like to be male as well as female, and can experience pan sexuality suggests that she is gender fluid. 

I look at Dax as a hetero-ideal of transgenderism.  Missing the mark yes, but for 1993?  You gottta give the writers of DS9 a bit more credit than the TNG folks; Dax's innate bisexuality was a seriously progressive step in the dark days before "Ellen" and "Will & Grace" (granted, W&G was a bit of a gay minstrel show, but it did break barriers for 1998).

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My impression was that the symbionts were genderless and only the memories of previous hosts carried any gender or sexual orientation information to the new host.  Obviously, host candidates have to be prepared in advance for the disorientation that must come with any joining since they will inherit the past life or lives of the symbiont.  It was never shown, but I'm betting there were usually long study sessions of those past lives of that planned symbiont for each new host.  I wished at the time that there had been some exploration of the reproduction, birth and death cycle of the symbionts.  In TNG, Riker seemed overwhelmed by his joining with the Odan symbiont, in part because he had no preparation time.  The main impression shown was the symbiont's passion for Beverly.

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My impression was that the symbionts were genderless and only the memories of previous hosts carried any gender or sexual orientation information to the new host.  Obviously, host candidates have to be prepared in advance for the disorientation that must come with any joining since they will inherit the past life or lives of the symbiont.  It was never shown, but I'm betting there were usually long study sessions of those past lives of that planned symbiont for each new host.  I wished at the time that there had been some exploration of the reproduction, birth and death cycle of the symbionts.  In TNG, Riker seemed overwhelmed by his joining with the Odan symbiont, in part because he had no preparation time.  The main impression shown was the symbiont's passion for Beverly.

Not really a difference of opinion, but, I kinda feel that I have to point out, that the little bit that we see of Riker's replacement in "The Host..." she is a bit of a...blank slate. She has a monotone and her eyes are a bit dead. I think they  intended for the host to be the personality. Odan was a one-off of a race they probably never intended to revisit until Jadzia.

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My impression was that the symbionts were genderless and only the memories of previous hosts carried any gender or sexual orientation information to the new host.  Obviously, host candidates have to be prepared in advance for the disorientation that must come with any joining since they will inherit the past life or lives of the symbiont.  It was never shown, but I'm betting there were usually long study sessions of those past lives of that planned symbiont for each new host.  I wished at the time that there had been some exploration of the reproduction, birth and death cycle of the symbionts.  In TNG, Riker seemed overwhelmed by his joining with the Odan symbiont, in part because he had no preparation time.  The main impression shown was the symbiont's passion for Beverly.

Not really a difference of opinion, but, I kinda feel that I have to point out, that the little bit that we see of Riker's replacement in "The Host..." she is a bit of a...blank slate. She has a monotone and her eyes are a bit dead. I think they  intended for the host to be the personality. Odan was a one-off of a race they probably never intended to revisit until Jadzia.

I generally wouldn't exactly rely too much on what TNG established concerning the Trill. They provided some of the foundation for the species, but that's it. (I for one am glad to forget "The Host" at all times, given its extremely transphobic ending, what with Crusher claiming that the whole of humanity isn't ready for this and whatnot. Speak for yourself there, lady, and maybe for some other humans, but NOT for all of humanity. But then, given the episode's director and his remarks, I'm not surprised at what's going on there.)

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My impression was that the symbionts were genderless and only the memories of previous hosts carried any gender or sexual orientation information to the new host.  Obviously, host candidates have to be prepared in advance for the disorientation that must come with any joining since they will inherit the past life or lives of the symbiont.  It was never shown, but I'm betting there were usually long study sessions of those past lives of that planned symbiont for each new host.  I wished at the time that there had been some exploration of the reproduction, birth and death cycle of the symbionts.  In TNG, Riker seemed overwhelmed by his joining with the Odan symbiont, in part because he had no preparation time.  The main impression shown was the symbiont's passion for Beverly.

Not really a difference of opinion, but, I kinda feel that I have to point out, that the little bit that we see of Riker's replacement in "The Host..." she is a bit of a...blank slate. She has a monotone and her eyes are a bit dead. I think they  intended for the host to be the personality. Odan was a one-off of a race they probably never intended to revisit until Jadzia.

I generally wouldn't exactly rely too much on what TNG established concerning the Trill. They provided some of the foundation for the species, but that's it. (I for one am glad to forget "The Host" at all times, given its extremely transphobic ending, what with Crusher claiming that the whole of humanity isn't ready for this and whatnot. Speak for yourself there, lady, and maybe for some other humans, but NOT for all of humanity. But then, given the episode's director and his remarks, I'm not surprised at what's going on there.)

No. I almost don't consider Odan a Trill. I mean, he is, but there's really nothing to the character. DS9 realized it as a race, but, even then, the writers still tried to play Jadzia as something akin to Odan, at least until "Playing God."

As for Crusher in that episode, let's just say it's one of the reasons I dislike her. Love is love. As for the gender fluidity part of it, making that adjustment is something I would be open to exploring at least, if I loved them. Not sure how it'd come out in the end, but I know I couldn't say a five minute goodbye and send them packing without trying to figure it out because otherwise I'd always wonder if all I ever really loved was the 6ft blonde package s/he came in last.

And, no, if Beverly can't make that adjustment, that's fine, but I think she slaps the "You're asking too much of ALL humans" thing on it because she has always struck me as a bit...provincial in her thinking given the "evolved" 24th and doesn't wanna take the hit to her self-image  that comes with, "Yeah, that might be just me."

 

Edited by prometheus59650

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My impression was that the symbionts were genderless and only the memories of previous hosts carried any gender or sexual orientation information to the new host.  Obviously, host candidates have to be prepared in advance for the disorientation that must come with any joining since they will inherit the past life or lives of the symbiont.  It was never shown, but I'm betting there were usually long study sessions of those past lives of that planned symbiont for each new host.  I wished at the time that there had been some exploration of the reproduction, birth and death cycle of the symbionts.  In TNG, Riker seemed overwhelmed by his joining with the Odan symbiont, in part because he had no preparation time.  The main impression shown was the symbiont's passion for Beverly.

Not really a difference of opinion, but, I kinda feel that I have to point out, that the little bit that we see of Riker's replacement in "The Host..." she is a bit of a...blank slate. She has a monotone and her eyes are a bit dead. I think they  intended for the host to be the personality. Odan was a one-off of a race they probably never intended to revisit until Jadzia.

I generally wouldn't exactly rely too much on what TNG established concerning the Trill. They provided some of the foundation for the species, but that's it. (I for one am glad to forget "The Host" at all times, given its extremely transphobic ending, what with Crusher claiming that the whole of humanity isn't ready for this and whatnot. Speak for yourself there, lady, and maybe for some other humans, but NOT for all of humanity. But then, given the episode's director and his remarks, I'm not surprised at what's going on there.)

No. I almost don't consider Odan a Trill. I mean, he is, but there's really nothing to the character. DS9 realized it as a race, but, even then, the writers still tried to play Jadzia as something akin to Odan, at least until "Playing God."

As for Crusher in that episode, let's just say it's one of the reasons I dislike her. Love is love. As for the gender fluidity part of it, making that adjustment is something I would be open to exploring at least, if I loved them. Not sure how it'd come out in the end, but I know I couldn't say a five minute goodbye and send them packing without trying to figure it out because otherwise I'd always wonder if all I ever really loved was the 6ft blonde package s/he came in last.

And, no, if Beverly can't make that adjustment, that's fine, but I think she slaps the "You're asking too much of ALL humans" thing on it because she has always struck me as a bit...provincial in her thinking given the "evolved" 24th and doesn't wanna take the hit to her self-image  that comes with, "Yeah, that might be just me."

 

It's a mystery to me how Gates McFadden actually twists it around these days and claims the episode "sent a bold message in terms of homosexuality". Where...? How...? When...? All I see is a character who freaks out because the man she loved oh so much a few seconds ago (and had no problems adjusting to when he inherited Riker's body, mind) is now in the body of a woman. She doesn't even try, she just slaps Odan down, puts together some crap about humanity not being ready for this and sends her away. Where does this come with a bold message about ANYTHING...? It sends a bold transphobic message, THAT'S what it does.

But, alas. Guess they can't all be like Jean-Luc and be like "whatever, I don't care if you're male of female, that crashed ship trick you just played on me was really not cool" when he realizes that Anna is actually Voval.

As for Odan vs. Jadzia... I feel the same way. I guess in my headcanon I've always put Odan into another Trill species category, one from another planet. lol Y'know, like Romulans and Vulcans or something. I dunno.

Edited by Mr.Picard

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It's a mystery to me how Gates McFadden actually twists it around these days and claims the episode "sent a bold message in terms of homosexuality". Where...? How...? When...? 

"The Outcast" does it far better and even that fails in the end. All "The Host" does is take us on a tour of Crusher's gender phobias.

Yay? 

 When...? All I see is a character who freaks out because the man she loved oh so much a few seconds ago (and had no problems adjusting to when he inherited Riker's body, mind) is now in the body of a woman.

Which would be weirder to me given that she's said she loved him like a brother and now has to live with him aboard ship after the fact. But, that's not a problem apparently, so she's fine if the slug keeps being placed in men.

If she had just shut up after, "I can't handle all this gender jumping" it would have been fine. 

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It's a mystery to me how Gates McFadden actually twists it around these days and claims the episode "sent a bold message in terms of homosexuality". Where...? How...? When...? 

"The Outcast" does it far better and even that fails in the end. All "The Host" does is take us on a tour of Crusher's gender phobias.

Yay? 

 When...? All I see is a character who freaks out because the man she loved oh so much a few seconds ago (and had no problems adjusting to when he inherited Riker's body, mind) is now in the body of a woman.

Which would be weirder to me given that she's said she loved him like a brother and now has to live with him aboard ship after the fact. But, that's not a problem apparently, so she's fine if the slug keeps being placed in men.

If she had just shut up after, "I can't handle all this gender jumping" it would have been fine. 

Yup. OR if she had stopped things earlier. If she had told Odan!Riker "sorry but I can't handle this kind of thing". That would have been fine as well. Not everyone wants this, not everyone is cut out for this, understandable. But the way she handled it made it all look like as if all of -straight- humanity is absolutely incapable of at least TRYING to be with the one they love if that person suddenly happens to have the opposite gender to the one they had before. (I love TNG, I really do, but its ridiculous and forced heteronormativity makes me want to bang my head against the nearest wall in utter frustration. It SO plays into the hands of those who love to claim that "people like you were eradicated by Khan and his supporters". I even thought up a fan fic about this once, a dystopian TNG fic that dives into this and explores how LGBT love was eradicated and how the TNG crew is utterly incapable of understanding same-sex relationships until someone challenges that, etc etc. It really makes a great idea for a fan fic, but the worst thing is that you don't even have to twist anything to make it work, TNGs heteronormativity provides the PERFECT basis. Scary.)

Edited by Mr.Picard

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My two cents. The Host was flawed, but perhaps we are overly misjudging Beverly. She clearly doesn't want 'any relationship'. Her character never dates. It is unusual for her to be dating in this episode. It was only in some later stories where she had to be either possessed by an alien ghost thing, or linked telepathically to Picard, to even admit, she seems to like relationships sometimes.

So I do not take it as so much a slap to Trans people, as this was clearly the early 1990s and all they had then on TV like that was stereotyped 'gay characters' and 'men cross dressing' on comedy shows.

A cross dresser is not a Trans person, but just someone who likes to wear the opposite gender's clothing. In effect, Odan was a cross dressing Trill (of a different species than Dax), or the host was, as the body is merely his or her 'clothing. The fact that she even falls in love in this episode is remarkable for the character, who up until then had no romantic inclinations, except maybe for Jean Luc (sorry Mr. Picard, ha). She was even put off with the symbiot being in Riker, because she had a friendship with him, as a shipmate.

The Trill could have been a fascinating look into gender politics, but at the time that was not the intent at all. They were not brazen enough to go there in about 1991. Beverly prevented the end of episode relationship death from taking place.

The Outcast had gone there, but it was more of a genderless society, not one that had opposing genders. That too was flawed because of the decisions Riker made, although like Beverly, in doing so he prevented the 'end of episode relationship death' that usually happened to his dates! This was because the writers would not be including the character ever again, and usually killed them off. It was a unique flip side story, if not flawed, whereas gender was actually shunned. It could have been very Star Trek.

Dax was too confident from the get go, with her many lives, and when we finally got something resembling gender issues with her, they were cheapened by it being just 'another ex relationship' that just happens to be a woman. The symbiot is genderless. The skin of the host is not. Still this was flawed.

Why did the evil Kira have to be bisexual when the clearly evident intonations of the prime Garak was that he too was bisexual and a spy, ergo evil in some way? That is not very progressive.

They were avoiding the end of episode death. So the end of relationship death by the end of episode was commuted with The Host and the other stories.

Basically the TNG writers had a hard time with proper (as in realistic not on any moral grounds) relationships even when they were straight, so they would surely have a tough time with LGBT stories. This is weird though because the writers would sneak bisexual references in there all the time, and even gay ones, and get away with it. Pairings were obvious. Quark and Odo, Bashir and Garak and O'Brien, Data and La Forge and Picard, Picard and Riker, even at one point Troi and Crusher, Traveler and academy age Wesley, etc. They were all male suggestions. They had trouble with the female involved ones, always making them uncomfortable, like Neelix and Kes, Seven and Kim, Seven and Chakotay, B'Elanna and Paris, Odo and Kira, Troi and Riker,  Bashir and Ezri (right out of left field), and Kira and Dukat (impossible).

Dax the symbiot was multi gendered, not trans.

Technically Odo could have become a woman. Why did they have gender? Eh?

And the most interesting pairing of all, Q and Picard, made more sense than Q and Janeway. I don't think this one failed though, because Q and Picard is cosmically interesting. Could Picard even handle it? That one worked.

Edited by Chimera82405

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My two cents. The Host was flawed, but perhaps we are overly misjudging Beverly. She clearly doesn't want 'any relationship'. Her character never dates. It is unusual for her to be dating in this episode. It was only in some later stories where she had to be either possessed by an alien ghost thing, or linked telepathically to Picard, to even admit, she seems to like relationships sometimes.

So I do not take it as so much a slap to Trans people, as this was clearly the early 1990s and all they had then on TV like that was stereotyped 'gay characters' and 'men cross dressing' on comedy shows.

A cross dresser is not a Trans person, but just someone who likes to wear the opposite gender's clothing. In effect, Odan was a cross dressing Trill (of a different species than Dax), or the host was, as the body is merely his or her 'clothing. The fact that she even falls in love in this episode is remarkable for the character, who up until then had no romantic inclinations, except maybe for Jean Luc (sorry Mr. Picard, ha). She was even put off with the symbiot being in Riker, because she had a friendship with him, as a shipmate.

The Trill could have been a fascinating look into gender politics, but at the time that was not the intent at all. They were not brazen enough to go there in about 1991. Beverly prevented the end of episode relationship death from taking place.

The Outcast had gone there, but it was more of a genderless society, not one that had opposing genders. That too was flawed because of the decisions Riker made, although like Beverly, in doing so he prevented the 'end of episode relationship death' that usually happened to his dates! This was because the writers would not be including the character ever again, and usually killed them off. It was a unique flip side story, if not flawed, whereas gender was actually shunned. It could have been very Star Trek.

Dax was too confident from the get go, with her many lives, and when we finally got something resembling gender issues with her, they were cheapened by it being just 'another ex relationship' that just happens to be a woman. The symbiot is genderless. The skin of the host is not. Still this was flawed.

Why did the evil Kira have to be bisexual when the clearly evident intonations of the prime Garak was that he too was bisexual and a spy, ergo evil in some way? That is not very progressive.

They were avoiding the end of episode death. So the end of relationship death by the end of episode was commuted with The Host and the other stories.

Basically the TNG writers had a hard time with proper (as in realistic not on any moral grounds) relationships even when they were straight, so they would surely have a tough time with LGBT stories. This is weird though because the writers would sneak bisexual references in there all the time, and even gay ones, and get away with it. Pairings were obvious. Quark and Odo, Bashir and Garak and O'Brien, Data and La Forge and Picard, Picard and Riker, even at one point Troi and Crusher, Traveler and academy age Wesley, etc. They were all male suggestions. They had trouble with the female involved ones, always making them uncomfortable, like Neelix and Kes, Seven and Kim, Seven and Chakotay, B'Elanna and Paris, Odo and Kira, Troi and Riker,  Bashir and Ezri (right out of left field), and Kira and Dukat (impossible).

Dax the symbiot was multi gendered, not trans.

Technically Odo could have become a woman. Why did they have gender? Eh?

And the most interesting pairing of all, Q and Picard, made more sense than Q and Janeway. I don't think this one failed though, because Q and Picard is cosmically interesting. Could Picard even handle it? That one worked.

I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

Edited by Admiral Harmon

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

^
Judging from how Garak was played rather 
than the actor's 'marching orders', I tend to think of Garak as bi/pan-sexual rather than gay or straight.    His heterosexual relationship with Ziyal never quite felt 'romantic' to me; more paternal (though not as creepy as Neelix and Kes).  But Garak's relationship with Bashir was like a cute-meet in a '90s rom-com.  And their chemistry together was palpable.   Once again, the actor Andy Robinson deserves much credit for playing against expectations and thus creating a far richer and more fascinating character. 

I think DS9's sexual 'testing of the waters' (however timid today) deserves much credit when one bears in mind the social context of the time in which it was created. 

 

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

^
Judging from how Garak was played rather 
than the actor's 'marching orders', I tend to think of Garak as bi/pan-sexual rather than gay or straight.    His heterosexual relationship with Ziyal never quite felt 'romantic' to me; more paternal (though not as creepy as Neelix and Kes).  But Garak's relationship with Bashir was like a cute-meet in a '90s rom-com.  And their chemistry together was palpable.   Once again, the actor Andy Robinson deserves much credit for playing against expectations and thus creating a far richer and more fascinating character. 

I think DS9's sexual 'testing of the waters' (however timid today) deserves much credit when one bears in mind the social context of the time in which it was created. 

 

Andrew Robinson has said that he always assumed Garak was bi/pan, so yeah, that's how he played him. It WAS the only thing he could do - seemingly play along with the studio's forced heteronormativity but also put in as much chemistry with Bashir as possible when possible. Siddig happily played along, and thus Garak/Bashir became THE slash pairing for DS9. It's kinda similar to what went on with Picard/Q on TNG although THAT pairing had the writers on its side and they sneakily planted moments for the two that the actors then eagerly embraced AND often expanded all on their own with their performances. I don't know how this was on DS9 with Garak and Bashir - the writer support I mean. Actor support the pairing definitely had, all of it. Heh.

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

^
Judging from how Garak was played rather 
than the actor's 'marching orders', I tend to think of Garak as bi/pan-sexual rather than gay or straight.    His heterosexual relationship with Ziyal never quite felt 'romantic' to me; more paternal (though not as creepy as Neelix and Kes).  But Garak's relationship with Bashir was like a cute-meet in a '90s rom-com.  And their chemistry together was palpable.   Once again, the actor Andy Robinson deserves much credit for playing against expectations and thus creating a far richer and more fascinating character. 

I think DS9's sexual 'testing of the waters' (however timid today) deserves much credit when one bears in mind the social context of the time in which it was created. 

 

I never really thought of Garak as having romantic feelings towards Bashir (,which I assume is your guyses implication) until you said they ordered him to stop portrsying it before. Now, I can totally see it! Perhaps thats a reason for the tension between him and Dukat!

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My two cents. The Host was flawed, but perhaps we are overly misjudging Beverly. She clearly doesn't want 'any relationship'. Her character never dates. It is unusual for her to be dating in this episode. It was only in some later stories where she had to be either possessed by an alien ghost thing, or linked telepathically to Picard, to even admit, she seems to like relationships sometimes.

She dated and pursued relationships, so, no, it's not really unusual for he to be dating. People seeking relationships don't necessarily  prowl around 24/7, looking for someone to date. She was open to relationships and had them when the opportunities presented.

Fortunately they did not turn her into some 1960s television stereotype who is incomplete without a man and on the hunt in perpetuity. Most people aren't like that either. 

That really has nothing to do with the point made. No one has a problem with her persuing a relationship and no one has a problem with HER having a problem with Odan ending up in a female body. The problem with the character in this case is the fact that she can't own her own feelings:

"I love you, Odan. I really do, but I can't deal with this...instability. I don't even know who you'll be tomorrow. I'm...just not strong enough and I'm sorry."

That would have been fine but she lumps every other human being in with her, saying that Humans just can't deal with it. A lot of people, even now, could. In a future where so many of these social preconceptions are dismissed as primitive?

The problem is hers, but she won't own it because it makes her feel like she's less evolved than she thinks she is.

And that's the problem.

Edited by prometheus59650

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

^
Judging from how Garak was played rather 
than the actor's 'marching orders', I tend to think of Garak as bi/pan-sexual rather than gay or straight.    His heterosexual relationship with Ziyal never quite felt 'romantic' to me; more paternal (though not as creepy as Neelix and Kes).  But Garak's relationship with Bashir was like a cute-meet in a '90s rom-com.  And their chemistry together was palpable.   Once again, the actor Andy Robinson deserves much credit for playing against expectations and thus creating a far richer and more fascinating character. 

I think DS9's sexual 'testing of the waters' (however timid today) deserves much credit when one bears in mind the social context of the time in which it was created. 

 

I never really thought of Garak as having romantic feelings towards Bashir (,which I assume is your guyses implication) until you said they ordered him to stop portrsying it before. Now, I can totally see it! Perhaps thats a reason for the tension between him and Dukat!

I never got that feeling between Garak and Dukat; they were definitely more rivals than potential lovers, but just watch Bashir's lunches with Garak (esp in later episodes).  Now imagine that same dialogue with two characters who are being set up for a romantic pairing (their constant flattery of each other, the teasing, etc) and it's pretty obvious.   When I first saw Garak on DS9 I just assumed the character was gay and his taking an interest in the 'brash, young doctor' made perfect senses.  I only got confused when they tried to shoehorn in an awkward and I'll-fitting 'romance' with Ziyal and Garak; it fit like a fish and bicycle.  At that point, I realized that someone in the writing staff must've got the memo to 'butch up' Garak.   But accepting the character as a pan-sexual made it 'work' for me again, despite the awkwardness. 

As for Dax?  I would describe her as pan-sexual as well.  Species and gender don't really seem to mean anything to her, which I like.  And she is no 'less' a woman for being in a same-sex relationship than she is when she married the 'macho hate machine' Worf in S6.  (Sorry Mr. Picard, but I HAD to use that old description of yours for Worf; it's too perfect... :giggle:).

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You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

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scenario   

You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

Is it too much to ask for both? 

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Benedict   

You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

Indeed, I've never seen anything in it but I took things at face value really.

As for the whole Crusher rigmarole, I would've thought the writers had a share of the blame putting it into the mouth of Crusher. Or their hands were tied by doing so with Middle America and all that.

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You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

Is it too much to ask for both? 

No, it's not. I'm just saying I didn't see the sexual aspect first off. But there is definitely enough room for both to be true.

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scenario   

You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

Is it too much to ask for both? 

No, it's not. I'm just saying I didn't see the sexual aspect first off. But there is definitely enough room for both to be true.

I didn't see it either. We're in the same boat. But even if he was looking for a steadfast ally, that doesn't mean he was showing interest at the same time. :)

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You see, I never saw it as that. I had assumed he was just trying to gain a steadfast ally when I first saw him pulling the hand across the shoulders when he first talked to Bashir. After discovering his spy origins, it felt more like he was keeping his skills sharp by trying to enlist this youngsters as both informant and spy partner. I never once saw anything sexual about it until you guys mentioned it. Now I feel like I shoulda spotted it right off the bat. lol

Is it too much to ask for both? 

No, it's not. I'm just saying I didn't see the sexual aspect first off. But there is definitely enough room for both to be true.

I didn't see it either. We're in the same boat. But even if he was looking for a steadfast ally, that doesn't mean he was showing interest at the same time. :)

I usualky find that is the case with me and women. Show interest and try to find an steadfast ally at the same time. 😊

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I have to feel a lot comes from Roddenberry. During his time running the series, he almost never had characters in relationships that lasted. I think his version of the utopian society was casual sex, as we know Troi originally was supposed to be very sexual active, far mire then she was in the final product (I don't remember if it was the directors or Sirtis who forced him to abandon the idea). 

I'm not sure he ever knew how to write them and pethaps he passed down that inability to write relationships. 

When I said "Jadzia as transgender" I didn't mean the character herself was a transgender (she most certainly isn't) but as we know, many characters are supposed to be representative of ideas and social issues. Like the episode in TOS where the two guys have half-black, half-white skin and the racial prejudice came from which side the colors were on. 

In order to represent something or someone you have to have something in common with that something or someone. Jadzia Dax does not have much in common with a transgender person. Hence no, she does not represent transgender folks. 

She CAN be viewed as a representative for the genderqueer spectrum as a whole though, maybe. A crude 90s representative - as Sehlat pointed out, it was the 90s, knowledge about this whole subject was not exactly wide-spread - AND I will point out that the writers were under strict orders to not create openly LGBT+ characters. DS9 was NOT above this rule, see the Garak issue when they told Andrew Robinson to "stop" playing Garak as gay after his first appearance. (This is why Jadzia's ex-wife is explicitly said to be the wife of one of her MALE hosts and why we are constantly reminded of it.)

And there's no such thing as "a transgender", by the way. It's an adjective, not a noun. 

^
Judging from how Garak was played rather 
than the actor's 'marching orders', I tend to think of Garak as bi/pan-sexual rather than gay or straight.    His heterosexual relationship with Ziyal never quite felt 'romantic' to me; more paternal (though not as creepy as Neelix and Kes).  But Garak's relationship with Bashir was like a cute-meet in a '90s rom-com.  And their chemistry together was palpable.   Once again, the actor Andy Robinson deserves much credit for playing against expectations and thus creating a far richer and more fascinating character. 

I think DS9's sexual 'testing of the waters' (however timid today) deserves much credit when one bears in mind the social context of the time in which it was created. 

 

I never really thought of Garak as having romantic feelings towards Bashir (,which I assume is your guyses implication) until you said they ordered him to stop portrsying it before. Now, I can totally see it! Perhaps thats a reason for the tension between him and Dukat!

Dukat/Garak is an interesting pairing as well, Dukat is jealous all the time anyway whenever someone isn't in love with HIM, so there's that. Although I'm more a fan of his relationship with Damar. Now THERE is the real potential.

The thing with all these "tension" relationships, whether it be Garak/Bashir, Picard/Q etc. is that they were all "officially forbidden" and yet there was a lot of romantic tension between the actors and their characters. And yet the studio held them back and even intervened in Robinson's case and said "tune down the gay". (They expressed it like "this is not the direction we want for the character" which is diplomatic for "knock off the gay, we can't have that stuff on our  show".) But the tension was there, and, perhaps it's fit to use an Ian Malcolm quote here, it "finds a way". You can't force that kind of tension away unless you fire both actors and twist their characters around, which was obviously an option they couldn't take in either of these cases. Their only chance was to insist on the "no homo on the ship-o/station-o" rule for the writers and hope for viewers to not notice anything, and that worked in some cases, but when I look at the huge amounts of Picard/Q and Garak/Bashir fan fic that were written back then (and NOT all of it explicit, there is such a thing as romance between two men as well, it does NOT always have to be immediately sexual and x-rated, this is a really persistent misconception) it seems it didn't work out with a lot of viewers who saw what was there and acted on it, just like the actors themselves did. 

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