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I think the last series I really remember treating gay/lesbian issues in the future well was probably Babylon 5.
Yes, the relationship between Talia and Ivonova was never explicitly stated, but it was pretty clear (waking up in the same bed in one episode for example). Similarly, casual mentions of gay relationships (including two characters posing as gay honeymooners) are all over the place and project the undercurrent that these things are just normal and accepted part of everyday life, which is how, in an ideal world, it should be.

Since then, despite the vast number of sci-fi series out there, the number of gay characters has been non-existant (Doctor Who/Torchwood being the only exceptions springing to mind).

The only other game that I can remember with an actual lesbian relationship is Fear Effect 2 for the PSone. The main characters Hana and Rain were together. Check out this cutscene video from the game.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=5kH7EnwwR1E

Hey, great article, but there was one thing I wanted to mention.

In regards to this:

"Similarly in Mass Effect, the developers were forced to explain the lesbian content by using the term 'mono-gendered' in reference to one of the female characters, who whilst appearing female, was within the framework of the story *an alien being of both genders*."

The game itself never once hides from the fact that the asari are an "all female race". The term "mono-gendered" comes up to explain the fact that "male" and "female" mean nothing to the asari (in regards to their own species), as obviously they never needed to distinguish, being all "female".

Just a quick mention of Buffy the vampire slayer and its really old too.

Gah...


Helena and Gina...


I still cry over that complete and utter BS. My little brother has had to talk me down from the clock tower a couple times after my girlfriend (who's a die hard BSG fan) had me watch Razor and the first couple seasons of BSG.

My geek group at my university came to the sad realization, that we're VASTLY under represented in sci-fi.

As a longtime fan of BSG, I'd just like to defend the Cylons (especially number 6). They are not villians, they are freedom fighters.

I mean, nobody who watched DS9 thought of the Bajorans as being evil, why is it that everyone who watches BSG thinks the cylons are horrible monsters?

By the end of the series I think people will be pretty suprised about their true nature, and learn a little something about how they look at people who are different (talkin' bout cylons still).

That being said, the lack of gay characters in star trek is disturbing (even while some of the actors are in fact gay!) and this is a serious problem in the world of Science Fiction. I can't help but think that the legacy of Orson Scott Card and Robert A Hienlien has something to do with this, but on the other hand what about Frank Herbert? (people who've read all 6 books will understand what I mean, while those who are only familiar with Dune will just recall the Baron Harkonnen, moreover some think of the Bene Geserit the way the male characters in the first book do, as horrible manipulative power hungry bitches, while their true nature as stern mothers who do what they must in order to insure that humanity survives is only revealed much later)

For me, in DS9, that's where I kindof had a hope that it really was becoming more mainstream and acceptable to have a same sex relationship, perticualrly with what was happening with Jadzia Dax. Even though they still explained it away with the symbiont carrying a male overlay, from it's previous host. It still got me all hopeful. Stupid startrek. Meh.

@Smoogles

I think the point in DS9 is that Gay and Straight shouldn't be such a big deal and instead it's luv that counts. Judzia Dax, "Old Man" lol.

Mass Effect bothers me. If there are scripts written for romantic interactions with both male and female characters, why lock them depending on your character's gender? Are we to believe that there are only five available people in the universe and all the humans except the protagonist (and then only if you're female) are straight?

I don't think Gina and Cain are villains.
Is that wrong?

One author of several Star Trek episodes pointed out that, unfortunately, Gene Roddenberry was a tad on the homophobic side. I cannot confirm this outside of this one comment, though. However, in the books the number of gay/lesbian couples have been much more common including a full blow, long term relationship in SCE.

Books are one thing, television and games are another. Unfortunately, same sex couples are hard, if not impossible to find. I love the Sims because it gives me that option. However, I love action games, and there just isn't that option in most of them, or even in most sim games.

I do remember being furious when they killed off Tara on Buffy, btw, and, of late, I've gotten heavily into anime and manga. There might not be a huge number of lesbian characters in anime and manga, but at least there are some, and not just in the out of the way, back behind the popular manga books either.

Coherency of the content of this post is subject to the author's current state of mind and whether or not her learning disabilities are acting up.

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