There were many things I liked about the new ST:TOS movie, mainly the score, but I also like this explanation a lot:
“I’ve been hearing for years that Star Trek, unlike a lot of other space epics, used futuristic situations at metaphors for contemporary issues. And so it is with this movie, which I interpret as a roman a clef exploration of the twinks vs. bears conflict within the gay community.
“No, seriously. It’s so obvious.
“In case you’re not familiar with the differing camps, twinks are the sort of gay person familiar to television audiences: young, fair, slender, with a fondness for form-fitting clothing and hair products. Twinks have taken over all the best-friend roles that used to go to actresses like Eve Arden.
“Bears, on the other hand, are seldom represented in gay media and certainly never show up in mainstream media. Bears tend to be older, rougher, hairier, and heavier, with a fondness for tattoos, stout boots, and other trappings of untamed masculinity. Bears don’t appear in straight television or film because straight male executives can’t handle the idea of gay men who could kick the crap out of them.
“In Star Trek, the twinks are all aboard the Enterprise, along with their signature companion: a sexy, sassy female best friend. They’re all wearing the same labels. The ship is new and exclusive, with custom retro furniture and perfect lighting–the de rigueur elements of a twink nightclub.
“They are fighting the bears–thinly disguised as the Romulans–led by a pugnacious leather daddy named Nero, who struts around brandishing his gigantic staff. Aside from a nasty case of cauliflower ear, Nero is a prime candidate to get his own calendar from Colt Studios.
“Nero’s ship, the Narada, is black and spiky on the outside. Inside, it’s all shadowy corners and well-worn industrial fittings, with no women in sight–the spitting image of your typical corner leather bar.”
Do Gay Martians Have the Right to Marry?, by Franklin, The Panopticon, May 13, 2009
Thank you, Franklin, thank you. I feel like I’ve been waiting all my life for that explanation and I’m so glad I lived long enough to get it.