Star Trek and the Non-Binary Gender Individual


This study investigates the symbolic function of these non-binary individuals through an analysis of 8 characters across four iterations of Star Trek, seeking connections between their fictional embodied meanings and how the role of real non-binary people is conceptualized today. I posit that the non-binary characters of Star Trek are portrayed dualistically, with those that are more ambiguous being portrayed as dangerous while those who possess easily gendered qualities are portrayed as benevolent and relatable. In the Star Trek universe, non-binary gender individuals are the “unknown” incarnate. Their identities, like non-binary people today, are continually parsed by the assumptions of a cisgender society—but through the performance of their gender identity, they find unity in liminality to begin reconcile the dual faces of their “self” which society sees and judges, but which they can only live.

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