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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Jul 17, 2022

Trans representation in Star Trek.

In 2022, trans characters in Star Trek have become part of the fabric of humanity’s shared future in space. In addition to Adira and Gray Tal in Discovery, we’ve been treated to the villainess Captain Angel in Strange New Worlds and even an explicitly non-binary character, the Medusan Zero, in Prodigy. But a few decades ago, Star Trek’s most direct engagement with trans culture was the truly toe-curling Deep Space Nine episode “Profit and Lace.” That said, a number of stories from both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine had touched on trans issues more obliquely—in many cases unintentionally.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, originally released as part of Tony Black’s podcast The Sanctuary, Tony is joined by Orion Armstrong for a look at the TNG episode “The Outcast,”which was intended by writer Jeri Taylor as an allegory about gay conversion therapy but is open to very different readings today as a trans story. They also discuss TNG’s “The Host,” DS9’s “Rejoined,” and more. And, in a new introduction, Duncan and Tony catch up with developments since the podcast was originally released.

Duncan Barrett and Tony Black

Orion Armstrong

Duncan Barrett (Editor and Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer)