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Student Guest Blog: Zach Landau on Star Trek slash fiction

Who wants to talk about something non election related? How about some good old fashioned gay talk?

I actually specifically chose to not post about the election at all yesterday. At least not on my own blog. Some people wrote and asked me my opinions and I commented some other places, but I just kinda wasn’t in the mood to write about it. I got the result that I had been expecting for several months but that I didn’t want. I had come to terms with it quite some time ago, but it still hurt. Personally, I very much believe that there’s going to be a bunch that I don’t like in the next four years, but that in the end everything is going to be “okay” more or less. Sucky… but okay. This oddly puts me in a much more optimistic place than the vast majority of the media that I consume. Being an optimist is not my strong suit. It’s… WEIRD for me. Uncomfortable even. But I understand. I’ll just be much happier once everyone else starts to heal a little bit so that I can go back to being everyone’s favorite dreary and mean-spirited internet asshole curmudgeon. But really… it’s going to take some time. Take your time. I’ll wait. I figure I’m going to have no shortage of political things to complain about over the next four years.

So in the meantime, in the spirit of healing… let’s talk about something different. Star Trek slash fiction!!! It’s time for me to continue my series of student guest blogs from my Sex, Violence and Comics class. This one was composed by Zach Landau, a junior Digital Media Arts major. As always, this was posted with permission, and I’m sure that Zach would appreciate any feedback that you might have.

star_trek__kirk_x_spock_by_technoranma-d4ikcidIn this graphic, we get an artist’s approximation of what a romantic enounter between Captain Kirk and Officer Spock from the 2009 Paramount Pictures theatrical-remake of the seminal classic, Star Trek, would look like. Depicted is the two coworkers engaging in a clear public-display-of-affection, as evidenced by the pursing of the captains lips, the proximity of those lips with those of his subordinate, and the intimate look in the officer’s eyes. This is obviously a gross over-stepping of what is acceptable in a work place (a government work place as well), which may elicit a sort of dangerous feel from the two lovers. At any moment, they could be caught by any one of the many workers who could be on the Starship Enterprise with them. This thrill suits the adventuring duo nicely, as the two are no strangers to danger.

The body language also characterizes the two, complimenting their canon personalities perfectly. We have Kirk, the natural born leader, asserting dominence over a supine Spock. His finger presses the lips of his officer, silencing any dissention as he moves in, eyes-closed, to lay his passion bare. Spock is wholly welcoming of this, as his calculating eyes take in the entire situation as he keeps his hands on his superior’s upper arms. His body language is both simultaneously accepting of the captain’s advances, yet also maintains a distance as if the raw intensity of the moment is still overwhelming to a man who is only still accepting his more human, and emotional, side.

Clearly, the artist, TechnoRanma, has a firm grasp of the accepted cannon of these two characters. What compels this bit of fan art beyond the norm (which is to say, beyond the typically shit art that is out there), is how they utilizes these confirmed characteristics to develop their non-canon homosexuality. This image is not a far leap of the imagination. If a relationship between Kirk and Spock would develop, it would probably look a lot like this (except maybe they would choose another place to show their affection).

What makes this image even more plausible is that it also feeds off of the canon relationship that Spock and Kirk already exhibit. Brought together by work, they have developed a friendship more profound than what is usually displayed on the show. It is so different, in fact, that it even over-steps the boundaries of what is normally accepted in the realm of male-intimacy. Many people already think Kirk and Spock are gay despite them never showing really romantic behavior towards each other. Unfortunately, many people see two men who respect each other’s opinions and work well together and have complimenting personalities as a gay couple.

I say “unfortunately” because this assessment comes from a place of strict heteronormativity. It is such an unfathomable idea that two guys can like being around each other, that it has to be different and weird. Because of course, men shouldn’t act that way. If men were to ever be in the same proximity of each other for any extended period of time, guns, alcohol, or sports must be involved, they shouldn’t say anything to eachother meaningful, and Jesus H. Christ help them if they make eye-contact.

This type of masculinity is ingrained into our minds, and whenever we see characters who deviate from that norm, they are immediately given a label that communicates their “otherness.” It can’t be that two guys talk to each other and are around each other all the time because they like each other; no, they’re obviously gay. That can be the only explanation.


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