A while back I saw this really cool piece of art on Pinterest. It’s a drawing of Lt. Uhura in here TOS uniform kneeling down to a young black girl. The girl is looking up at her and says “REPRESENTATION MATTERS”. So true. As a Trekkie I’ve heard the story of Whoopi Goldberg seeing Nichelle Nichols in TOS and running to her mother “There’s a black lady on TV and she’s not playing a maid!” Goldberg cites Star Trek as a major inspiration in her life.
I’d love to see a version of this poster geared for young gay people who are dealing with the struggles of being “different”. According to The Trevor Project, “LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.” I dealt with depression when I was struggling to understand my sexuality as a teenager. If only there had been a gay character on Star Trek TNG for me to look up to. But alas, it didn’t happen. Still I find Uhura inspiring!
Of course now gay kids have a lot of heroes both fictional and real to look up. Hollywood stars like George Takei, Zachary Quinto are out and proud telling today’s youth that it gets better. In the fictional world, there are gay superheroes like Northstar and Batwoman representing in comic books.
Inside the Star Trek universe the best we have are Peter Kirk & Alex Freeman from fan series Star Trek New Voyages. That would be a great poster though! Basically the same as the Uhura one but with Peter Kirk kneeling down a young gay kid? That would make me smile.