Here’s the thing about the future: the way things are going currently, I think it’s safe to question why heterosexual women would still be the majority in 2334. And yet! As I learned in a Women in Literature course nearly two decades ago, fan-fic was invented by Trekkies longing to see Kirk and Spock boldly go where they only subtextually went onscreen, and until literally three years ago, the franchise has remained mostly content to keep its characters straight on their streets and queer in our sheets. Star Trek‘s persistent refusal to offer sufficient LGBTQ representation, despite encouragement from cast members, has been a point of contention for decades. Our 2010 piece about it — “Gay Me Up, Scotty: How Star Trek Failed To Boldly Go There” — is one of several Autostraddle pieces that frequently pop up on college syllabi.
Luckily, we all have very active imaginations and also, just for the record, as a child I attended a Star Trek Convention in the aptly named Romulus, Michigan. Thus, it eventually came time for us to turn our keen minds towards an important project: ranking every Star Trek character by lesbianism. (A practice we engage in frequently, for example this ranking of Law and Order characters.)
The lesbian rankings contained herein are based on highly subjective criteria you will undoubtedly disagree with. It includes opinions from esteemed sources like your pal and mine Sally, who has seen all the Star Treks, as well as Autostraddle writers Al(aina), Kayla, and Senior Editor Carmen, the only three Autostraddle team members who wanted to join my Star Trek Slack Channel.
Also by the way the Bajorans are the most lesbianish species overall (the earwear alone, I mean!) and everyone is queerer in the mirrorverse. Don’t @ me. But do comment!
55. Navigator Ilia (Persis Khambatta), “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”
Due to the Deltan pheromones that trigger “hormonal responses in most humanoid life forms of the opposite sex,” Ilia had to take a vow of celibacy in order to be permitted to work amongst human men. A more logical solution would be to avoid human men altogether, any lesbian could tell you that!!!
54. Helmsman Valeris (Kim Cattrall), “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”
No thank you.
53. Seska (Martha Hackett), Voyager
52. Alynna Nechayev (Natalija Nogulich), The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine
Kayla: daddy vibes but not super gay vibes sorry 2 say. she’s so by-the-book.
51. Anjj (Donna Murphy), “Star Trek: Insurrection”
Overcomes everything she knows to be true about the world in order to fall in love with a man. Heterosexual bangs.
50. Kes (Jennifer Lien), Voyager
Sally: What little personality she did have was subsumed by her relationship with the incredibly annoying Neelix.
49. Dr Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur), The Next Generation
Refused to acknowledge Data’s preferred personhood and mispronounced his name intentionally to convey her disrespect. So, definitely straight.
48. Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett), The Original Series, Star Trek I – VI
Sally remembers that she “can’t remember what she did other than crush on Spock.” However, Kayla asks: “Is there something slightly gay about pining after Spock since he is quite literally emotionally unavailable? Like the way I pretended to have crushes on unavailable boys in high school?” Valid inquiry.
47. Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney), The Original Series, “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”
Truly committed to the heterosexual bit for decades. Slight Mom energy, Zero Mommi Energy.
46. Tora Ziyal (Melanie Smith), Deep Space Nine
She’s like the straight sister of one of your lesbian friends who everybody is like, “is she gay yet?” and her lesbian sister is like “not yet!”
45. Winn Adami (Louise Fletcher), Deep Space Nine
Super evil but not the sexy low-key kind of evil your ex-girlfriend was. More like the kind of evil embodied by a librarian who won’t stock Heather Has Two Mommies.
44. Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson), Voyager
It is true that she was, as Sally put it, “relentlessly and regretfully (to me) heterosexual with Lt. Paris, a human charm vacuum.” However, as Sally also put it, she “had a lot of angry feminist vibes going on.”
43. Nurse Alyssa Ogawa (Patti Yasutake), The Next Generation, “Star Trek Generations,” “Star Trek First Contact”
Is described as “a bit conservative in her personal life.” Haircut got less gay rather than more gay over time. When Crusher saw her boyfriend with another woman, Alyssa was concerned rather than relieved.
42. First Officer / Science Officer T’Pol (Jolene Blalock), Enterprise
Sally: Repeatedly stripped off in the decontamination chamber, which I sense was only tangentially for my benefit.
41. Starfleet Vice Admiral Katrina Cornwell (Jayne Brook), Discovery
Is a therapist.
Kayla: is a bisexual psychiatrist called a bichiatrist
she sleeps with her ex and then tries to psychoanalyze their trauma…….
40. Kasidy Yates-Sisko (Penny Johnson Jerald), Deep Space Nine
“In my head she merged with her other role as the evil wife of the President in 24,” remarked Sally. “So I was always highly suspicious of her.”
39. Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), The Original Series, first six Star Trek films
Point / Counterpoint:
Al(aina): very heterosexual. her first lines in the series are like “spock why won’t you tell me i’m pretty!!!!”
Carmen: Ok so while I technically see Al’s point here, I am still going to offer a rebuttal: Lt. Uhura is fundamental to everything about my black nerd femme identity. EVERYTHING.
And I have a Lt. Uhura journal and action figure to highlight this point.
AND without Nichelle Nichols in this role, there wouldn’t have been women in central speaking parts in command. So in many ways she’s the foremother of a lot of the other women on this list, which I feel is important re: legacy of women we’re ranking by gay.
38. Ensign Demora Sulu (Jacqueline Kim), “Star Trek Generations”
Had minimal screen time/development. Daddy’s girl.
37. Lursa & Be’Etor, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and “Star Trek: Generations”
Tried to seduce Picard by offering him excessive amounts of hot tea. Also therefore:
Al(aina): ok, hear me out: i think these two are def gay sisters who sleep with men in the same way that aileen wuornos slept with men. like, to get money from them and also possibly to kill them.
36. Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman), Discovery
Tilly might be the straight girl who seemed gay as a kid just ’cause she had so many ideas for sleepover games but like… she actually meant it when she said she had a crush on that boy you were just pretending to have a crush on. And listen: nobody is more annoyed than she is about being straight. All her friends are gay!
Alternately, Sally has pointed out that she has allergies, which is gay. Furthermore, that infection/haunting via her former “friend” May in Season Two is wildly lesbian. When her ex/”friend,” in the form of a viral blob, is eating her arm, and she’s like, “I’m so tired,” I was like, GIRL, SAME.
35. Ishka (Cecily Adams), Deep Space Nine
Couldn’t live her truth until her husband died, which means she’s a late-in-life lesbian. Feminist renegade who attempted to circumvent the misogynist Ferengi economy for personal gain.
34. Leeta (Chase Masterson), Deep Space Nine
She is a Bajoran, the most lesbianish species of Star Trek, and also was basically a sex worker, one of the the most queerish professions of the modern era (right up there with “social worker” and “starfleet officer”) AND she ORGANIZED A G-DDAMN UNION. Despite all of that… does not attempt to seduce Arandis or any other women while celebrating her conscious uncoupling from Doctor Bashir on a pleasure planet?
33. Lily Sloane (Alfre Woodard), “Star Trek: First Contact”
Began her story building a time machine in a rural Montana silo. Described as “outspoken and a little high-strung” (gay) and credited with being “the first to recognize Captain Picard’s emotional demons.” (Do note that although lesbians are very good at recognizing the emotional demons of others, we are also uniquely adept at disassociating from our own.)
32. Caithlin Dar (Cynthia Gouw), “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”
Hairstyle doubles as a dildo. Is always dressed for a tightly themed queer dance party. Was manipulated into joining a weird religious cult.
31. Female Changeling (Salome Jens), Deep Space Nine
Sally: Possibly the most bizarre thing in all Star Trek is that when they had the ultimate chance to have completely agender lifeforms who can shapeshift into anything, they either had them as a writhing pile of goo, or really bad play-dough people. The Female Changeling had it in really bad for the “solids” who she thought were stupid and inferior, which is kind of how I feel about men, so I’m charitably viewing her as a kind of non-binary man-hating lesbian separatist.
30. Counselor Ezri Dax (Nicole de Boer), Deep Space Nine
Joined Starfleet to get away from her family. According to @somekindoferika on twitter, has “big trans energy.”
29. Special Emissary K’Ehleyr (Susie Plakson), The Next Generation
Was fridged to motivate a male character. She once noted, regarding her half-human half-Klingon genetics, “my Klingon side can be terrifying, even to me,” which is clearly a symbolic nod to her bisexuality and her subsequent terror of either: a) Men, b) Women.
28. Martia (Ilman), “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country”
Envisioned as a “swashbuckling female space pirate.” Was killed by a famous cis white man.
27. Botanist Keiko O’Brien (Rosalind Chao), The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine
Fanboys hate her. She loves plants.
26. Officer Joann Owosekun (Oyin Oladejo), Discovery
When locked in a basement in New Eden with Michael and Pike, stripped of all their fancy technology, she employs her Luddite background expertly, managing to free them all by manipulating the door’s sliding bolt. Her haircut is gay enough to stand out on a bridge riddled with gay haircuts.
25. Biologist Dr. Gillian Taylor (Catherine Hicks), “Star Trek IV: The Journey Home”
Obsessed with whales. Says she’s down to time-hop with Kirk and Spock because “I’ve got nobody but those whales.” Has no interest in keeping in touch with Kirk because she would rather do science. In the fictional bibliography of “Star Trek: Federation – The First 150 Years,” she is cited as the author of “Whales Weep Not: My 300-Year Voyage Home with George and Gracie.” Ahem.
24. The Actual Whales from “Star Trek IV: The Journey Home”
Sally: Two whales involved in saving future earth from some pseudo-ecological disaster using whalesong definitely sounds like the kind of plot dreamt up by a teenage lesbian.
23. Commander-in-Training Saavik (Kristie Alley), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Kayla: A [half] vulcan who still CRIES? bitch, that’s a lesbian.
22. Molecular Biologist Carol Marcus (Bibi Besch), “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”
After having Kirk’s child, declared a lack of interest in spending any additional time with Kirk or having him involved in his son’s life, preferring instead to focus on her truest love: her work.
Kayla: WE STAN A GAY SINGLE MOM
Kayla: SCIENCE MOMMI
21. Season One Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton), The Next Generation
- Looks like a lesbian
- Thinks he can do everybody else’s job better than they can
- Wears a cute striped mock turtleneck and leggings all the time
- When he saves the day, fans were annoyed rather than impressed
- Teaches a group of small children how to do passive resistance as an activist technique in order to escape their captors
- As a child when TNG originally aired, I had a crush on him
- My crush blinded me to the fact that he was a nearly universally disliked character
- Dammit was I Wesley
- Ugh I hate myself
- Stopped looking/acting like a lesbian circa Season Two
- Was a teenage boy
20. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Voyager
In 1997, GLAAD reported that ex-borg drone Seven of Nine would “experiment with her sexuality along the way to understanding her humanity, including looking into same-sex relations” but apparently unnamed “opposition” got in the way, as it has literally every single time this franchise ever promised queer representation until 2016. But what we got instead was a troubled hottie constantly haunted by trauma and suffering from near-constant severe PTSD involving raven-prominent flashbacks, which is peak lesbian.
19. Arandis (Vanessa Williams), one episode of Deep Space Nine
Was nobody else still watching DS9 when Dax went on a romantic vacation with Worf — she wore a RAINBOW BATHING SUIT, he kept his uniform on and was in a very bad mood the whole time — and her old friend Arandis (who’d hooked up with one of Jadzia’s former hosts) followed her around all week hoping Dax would escape the misapplied Worf storyline for some Sweet Sapphic Scissoring? THIS WOMAN IS BISEXUAL, it’s a fact.
18. Communications Officer Hoshi Sato (Linda Park), Enterprise
An ACTUAL linguist with poor social skills who spent most of her childhood alone, learning alien languages.
17 [TIE]. Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), The Next Generation
Tied with Troi because without Troi, is she truly lesbian? Are they girlfriends… or do they just make extended eye contact in skin-tight boobs-out get-ups while engaging in elaborate ritual stretching contests?
[excerpt from a private chat]
Kayla: “TNG is the gayest of them all. The G stands for gay.”
Me: “yeah TNG is like Mommis in space.”
Kayla: “Dr. Beverly Crusher MD has got to be my #1.
I want her to top me in space.
“DIAGNOSE ME, MOMMI”
[…one month later in our star trek slack channel…]
Kayla: crush ME, doctor beverly crusher md!!!!!!
Kayla: she is so gay and i do not just say that because i want her to spit in my mouth
Kayla: she essentially had sex with anaphasic energy that was contained in a CURSED CANDLE which is um, gay
Carmen: Doctor Beverly Crusher is everything!!! Mommi for dayyyyys. Bless.
Al(aina): i want to lay my life down for her. she could walk on me. i dont feel that way about straight women
17 [TIE]. Lieutenant Commander Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), The Next Generation
A tough call. As aforementioned, highly dependent on the woman tied for this spot, Dr. Beverly Crusher, who either is or is not Troi’s girlfriend. Troi did fall for Riker, the Galaxy’s Most Alpha Male. But; her empathy scores are off the charts and in Yar’s post-death hologram dirge, she said Troi made her realize she could “be feminine without losing anything,” which let’s be honest probably happened in her private quarters. Also, remember when Troi pointed out that “Tasha is very physically attractive”? I’ll never forget.
Kayla: i think she has maybe never been with a woman but is having confusing feelings about her best friend Dr. Beverly Crusher
Kayla: so maybe like a baby bi
Carmen: OH I SEE WE ARE BRINGING OUT ALL MY CHILDHOOD CRUSHES OK THEN
Al(aina): she also seems high as fuck all the time, gives me big bisexual vibes
16. Vulcan High Priestess T’Lar (Dame Judith Anderson), “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock”
A spiritual leader who wears turtleneck hooded robes and can officiate weddings and deliver children? GAY.
15. Lieutenant Keyla Detmer (Emily Coutts), Discovery
14. Ishara Yar (Beth Toussaint), The Next Generation
This evaluation is based solely upon her physical appearance, which leaves about as much room to be straight as there is to fit another task onto my to-do list. Also, her sister is gay.
13. Jayla (Sofia Boutella), “Star Trek: Beyond”
Excuse me but: after traumatically losing her entire family, Jaylah lived alone on a hidden abandoned spaceship, listening to hip-hop, learning martial arts, making her own weapons and doing home repairs.
12. Lwaxana Troi (Majel Barrett), The Next Generation & Deep Space Nine
Lwaxana reads to me like an overbearing Jewish mother who, like my own overbearing Jewish mother, is probably gay. Al called her “the Phyllis Kroll of Star Trek” and Sally, also recalling a queer woman over 50 from The L Word, said Lwaxana is “clearly the Peggy Peabody/Guggenheim of the franchise who, despite constantly being on the hunt for a husband, you know had that one lesbian fling in the summer of Stardate 80363.79. Enough Mommi vibes to power a warp drive.”
11. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Discovery
On the one hand, Michael pings like the original Enterprise’s duotronic sensor array. On the other hand, Michael pings like a sweeping infa-red laser scanning local space. Bring those two hands together and we have a lesbian. “I remember the first five minutes of Discovery when it was just Michael and Philippa trekking round a desert with a whole female mentor/mentee vibe, and I thought if they just did that for twenty-four episodes it would be the greatest sci-fi ever,” recalled Sally. “Sadly this did not happen, and we didn’t just have to see her un-repress her Vulcan feelings for Ash once, but millions of times in one episode!” Alternately:
Al(aina): Phillipa Georgiou’s bottom. So lost without her top she fell in love with a Kllingon.
Carmen: Yet another star trek gay asymmetrical haircut has made itself known.
10. Conn Officer Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes), The Next Generation
“I liked Ensign Ro because she was tough and challenged all the pansy moralistic men in TNG, whilst having engagingly pointy eyebrows,” wrote Sally. “I believe she was meant to be a main character on DS9, which fell through and Kira kind of filled that role, so I was really happy when she graduated to be the evil lesbian admiral in Battlestar Galactica.”
Kayla: TORTURED GAY
Kayla: ok she and Guinan definitely fucked in her titular episode from season 5
Kayla: i have visual aids:
Which brings me to….
9. Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), The Next Generation, “Star Trek: Generations,” “Star Trek: Nemesis”
When Wikipedia describes you as “an alien who is several hundred years old and is noted for her folk wisdom,” YOU GAY. (Sidenote: during the taping of “The Offspring,” Whoopi refused to have Guinan teach her adopted child about love as a heterosexual concept, rejecting the script about a man and a woman falling in love in favor of “when two people are in love” because “this show is beyond that.”)
Kayla: gay empath alert
Carmen: guinan is that tarot card reading, astrology birth chart, “I can’t date you if you’re a libra” or whatever kind of gay.
we all know her, we’ve all dated her, we all have one of her in our friendship circle (maybe we even are her)
Al(aina): yes to all of this.
8. Borg Queen (Alice Krige), Voyager and “Star Trek: First Contact”
Sally: The original Cybermommi. Gay obsession with Seven of Nine. As the Borg were all one collective, that must mean that assimilating just one lesbian makes every Borg a lesbian, ergo they were just one giant lesbian commune floating in space.
7. Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), Voyager
The first female Starfleet Commanding Officer in the Star Trek universe is a bit of a lesbian gimme. Plus she has lesbian voice and a lesbian gait and a hearty portion of lesbian tension with other women aboard her good ship. However, Sally didn’t get gay vibes until “Macrocosm,” “when she strips off and goes all Ripley against some alien bugs with a giant rifle. Which is pretty gay really.”
6. First Officer / Commanding Officer Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor), Deep Space Nine
“Remember when her boyfriend the Bajoran priest died in some horrific manner, and she was just like Can’t grieve now, got work to do?,” Sally wistfully recalled. “I feel like she lived out the fantasy of all gay women who are afraid of compulsory heterosexuality and dream of getting married to a dude who dies on their wedding night.” Furthermore, “Mirrorverse Kira checking out regular Kira is the gayest moment in all Star Trek.”
Riese: In Kira’s first scene in DS9 she yells at Sisko about (not in these words but) colonization and indigenous people’s right to self determination and hating the government after telling him that he probably won’t like her because she has strong opinions.
Kayla: wowowowowowow me in high school.
Riese: She just told Sisko that she’s the only one on the ship willing to do manual labor and ‘get her hands dirty.’
Now she’s interrupting a staff meeting to register complaints about their asylum policy
5. Chief Science Officer Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), Deep Space Nine
Dax is willing to break the most embedded and valued rules of her people, the Trills, to spend the rest of her life with the woman one of her previous hosts had been married to. Even though her character was basically gender-fluid and the whole situation seemed orchestrated to ensure we knew her attraction to her ex was not a lesbian situation but just a carryover from a heterosexual situation, she’s the closest thing we had to queer-lady cannon before (hopefully?!) Discovery — and when it happened, the kiss she shared with Lenara Kahn was the most intense girl-on-girl kiss ever aired on network television. YOU COULD SEE SALIVA.
Also, got killed, the gayest move of all.
4. Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh), Discovery
“Probably I should be angry that the only bisexuals on Star Trek are always evil people from alternate universes?” Sally mused. “Sadly I don’t care, and Michelle Yeoh is hot.”
Al(aina): the toppiest femme top
Carmen: She also had sex with a woman on screen (well they’re shown post-sex on screen?) in a threesome, so I think that makes her pretty heckin’ gay.
Kayla: a telescope as a prized possession is gay i don’t make the RULES
3. Jet Reno (Tig Notaro), Discovery
Al(aina): she gay
Kayla: lol i mean
2. The lesbian couple in the background of one scene in the Star Trek Discovery episode “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad”
Ladies, gentlemen and J’naiis: WE WILL TAKE WHAT WE CAN GET.
1. Chief of Security Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) , The Next Generation
In addition to sporting THE LATE 80S/EARLY 90S LESBIAN HAIRCUT™, Yar only lasted one season ’cause Denise Crosby chose to leave the show ’cause the structural gender inequality imposed by the writing team meant her character was woefully underdeveloped and therefore insufficiently challenging to her as an actress. Instead, Crosby went on to produce a series of documentaries about Star Trek fandom. But, the most lesbian action of all:
Al(aina): so GAAAAAAAAAAAAY they even killed her
As a life-long Trekkie, many of whose first gay crushes we on Star Trek, this is everything! I agree with pretty much all of this. I have never felt more seen as a queer woman. Also, I would let Jadzia murder me.
this was a perfect first comment thank u Elizabeth S.
1) I always shipped B’Elanna and Seven. (I maybe misremembering this. I haven’t watched “Star Trek: Voyager” since it ended.) The hating they had on each other was sort of a proto-SwanQueen.
2) I also wanted Seven to adopt Naomi Wildman, and together with her Borg children, raise a mixed family with Ensign Wildman.
3) Point of order: Saavik wasn’t a Vulcan. She was a Romulan taken in and mentored by Spock. It’s in the “Wrath of Khan” book.
4) I don’t watch “Star Trek: Discovery”, but the person I most like from the pictures is Lt. Keyla Detmer. Can we get a rundown on her?
Let me try again.
Exchanges meaningful looks with Owo that suggests either romantic potential or two exes working side-by-side who might still occasionally go bump in the night.
Adding onto this very important point for the case for keyla:
1) is the assigned gay that drives the starship/car
2) has the hardest-lined asymmetrical undercut on the bridge
3) is a partial cyborg, enough groundings for robot wlw enthusiasts
4) trades looks with/glances at joann owosekun like she’s the most beautiful thing in space
I always kinda thought the Borg Queen had the hots for Janeway.
You’re both right about Saavik; she’s half-Romulan, half-Vulcan.
I’m not sure how you can mention Janeway and not include literally *every single interaction with Seven*??!! (And vice versa)
Also first season B’Elanna/Janeway interaction is so charged I could barely handle it
Remember there was one early-ish episode where they’re on some planet and B’Elanna somehow gets infected with the Vulcan mating horniness and I was desperately hoping she’d get trapped somewhere with a woman…
Seven of Nine got some Borg infection thing of different pre-assimilation personalities from an old cluster or something. One of the personalities was a male Klingon that attempted to instigate mating with B’Elanna the nearest female Klingon.
**Warning** it’s uh rather noncon with the aggression and B’Elanna being kinda frightened.
Yeah janeway wanted 7 of 9 so so bad that wasnt just acting ! C’mon !
I was rewatching some Discovery only yesterday with my mother, and when it got to the bit where Owosekun opened the trapdoor, it took all my strength not to shout aloud “GOOD WITH FLAPS!” as I mentally re-evaluated her lesbian potential.
Oh wow, if that video of Troi and Crusher exercising together isn’t the equivalent of the scene in Sex Education where the baby lesbians try to scissor I don’t know what is
honestly when kayla asked me if i’d seen that scene and i said no and then promptly looked for it on youtube, i assumed the video that came up was a fanvid she had made herself as a teenager, which turned out not to be true, but i still like to think of it that way
Haha aw, that would have been awesome! Maybe we can continue the A-Camp fanfic tradition and watch it while making collages or something. Even more scissors could be involved…
God, I’m such a nerd.🙈*
*Moment when you figure out you were gay for Vulcan women in space long before Jadzia Dax became your official root.
#1 So gay someone did a needlepoint of her.
And also””When Wikipedia describes you as “an alien who is several hundred years old and is noted for her folk wisdom,” YOU GAY.” is so on point for the gayness I felt about Whoopi in Star Treck that I feel like I wrote this.
she somehow looks…. EVEN GAYER in the needlepoint, Jay!
I have not given up on Tilly. That haunting episode–super gay.
Tilly has HUUUUGE bi energy, love this list but hard disagree on Tilly being straight at all. She’s going through a musician phase!!!!! Come on!!!!!!!
Definitely would be cool if Tilly is gay. She has some great lines. Very good character and we’ll acted.
THIS IS SO MUCH
i’m just so happy
You’re quite right Darcy!🤔
i also have not given up on gay tilly, and am delighted that tig notaro has popped up more than once! (lol her name is Jet Reno)
I burst out laughing at the description of Wesley Crusher.
My intro to Star Trek started in college when I got the full box sets of TNG and DS9 from a yard sale for $4.25 each. I was still deep in the catacombs of denial then but in hindsight, I was pretty much in love with Troi and Jadzia. I remember being irrationally (not an exaggeration) upset when both shows made them date Worf who I really disliked as a character.
honestly jealous of this yard sale!!!!
i find worf somehow comforting like he has been such a big part of my life? he’s always there, you know? but jesus christ the guy is not a good match for either of those women!!! it felt so bizarre and forced.
I got into Star Trek a couple years. Developed a HUGE crush on Janeway! Then when Seven came on-board I became a fervent J/7 shipper, spending endless hours watching fan-made YouTube videos and reading fan fiction.
I can’t remember where I saw this (probably tumblr) but I love a complaint I once read about seven of nine and chakote (sp?) ending up together: “They BOTH had more chemistry with Janeway than with one another!!”
An important note: my incredibly queer non-binary pansecual dyke girlfriend is named Kira after Kira Nerys, so, do with that what you will.
Sally get ready I’m about to start a fight in group chat re: B’Elanna and Tilly. No one as competent as B’elanna can possibly be that straight, and Tilly is so so so bi, SO BI!!!
TILLY IS SO GAY(BI) FOR THE MUSHROOM WHO KIDNAPPED HER
Jane, bring it. Also I am crying at the youthfulness of people that are named after DS9 characters…
Do you have to call me out for my cougarness, Sally
At least Six Comment Awards right here !
still thinking about tasha and how i almost threw my laptop when she died FOR NO REASON
My first thought on reading this was “You had a laptop in 1988?”. 😉
Let’s not forget that Kira Nerys and Ezri Dax were in a relationship in the mirror universe (see “The Emperor’s New Cloak” episode) and the mirror version of Leeta turned up at the end of the episode to “debrief” Ezri.
I also kind of feel Beverly Crusher needs to be reevaluated on this list because she rejected her trill lover after their new host was female. (see “The Host” episode)
Tasha Yar had a really screwed up existence. She technically dies 3 times across various Star Trek shows, books, etc. The first time as described, then she come back to life and goes back in time with another version of the Enterprise, gets captured by the Romulans, becomes the consort of a Romulan general to save the surviving crew of the Enterprise C, has a daughter called Sela and is killed trying to escape with her (apparently).
Sela meanwhile goes on to become an important figure in the Romulan Empire, even it’s Empress for a time and much much later discovers that her mother Tasha wasn’t really killed trying to escape, but was transferred to a prison colony with the other survivors of the Enterprise C and died of old age. Sela (who looks like Tasha in a bad wig) is still alive.
i do feel like in “the host” it wasn’t because the new host was female, it was because she was just thrown off by the number of bodies she might have to re-attach herself to — i re-watched it yesterday actually just to confirm and it doesn’t seem like the fact that she was a woman was the issue, it was just the whole nature of her being a trill and her not being ready to deal with that. i’m sure there are alternate readings though!
She also looked turned-on when the new host kissed her wrist before striding away, and maybe Gates played her with a look of second-guessing her decision to end the relationship but that might be my own wishful thinking viewpoint.
i felt like the kiss on the hand was basically a kiss, you know? b/c at the time this episode was conceived, two women had not ever kissed on television before — the first one was L.A. Law, in Feb of 1991, and this aired in May 1991 so it was probably shot and produced prior to that L.A. Law episode — so that wasn’t an option. and she seemed not repulsed by it, even receptive to it?
AND i am not biased by wishful thinking because the thing is that all of these people are gay except for like the last three on the list. so i was trying really hard to find reasons to NOT label them gay!
I was so obsessed with Troi as a teen. She was sooooo beautiful and kind. I had a poster of her up in my room but I put one of Riker up next to it as camouflage which just makes me sad for Teen Me.
Also I thought Wesley was great because I was also a teen nerd and had no idea til later in life that everyone hated him.
Troi was my root. Ten-year-old Catholic good-girl me could never explain to Mom and Dad just why it was absolutely vital that we be home on time to watch TNG, and became adept at policing the direction of my gaze and my facial expression so I wouldn’t give anything away staring every time Troi was onscreen. Which like you makes me feel sad for baby me.
Making a resolution right now that if my kiddo starts really wanting things she can’t or doesn’t want to explain in a couple years, I’ll try to respect it whenever I can.
I stanned so hard for Dr. Crusher back in the day!
Nowwwww I get the mommi thing.
God this makes my little Trekkie heart so happy.
My personal list is Kira #1 and Crusher #2, though they flipflop depending on the day…but good list overall!
Kira though….oh man, my 13 year old self had heart eyes watching DS9 every week.
This list is wonderful and there is no way Tilley is straight, she’s too amazing for that
Happy birthday to meee!! This is everything I’ve ever wanted.
Also, when I was a child my mother would tell me the Klingons brought me – specifically Lursa & Be’Etor. Now that I’m older they just seem sooo gay. It was a sign for my future if there ever was one.
I keep re-watching DS9 and Voyager and giving up halfway through because I just can’t live with J/7 and Kira/Jadzia not happening. It’s driving my wife crazy. (And every time my mom asks why I can’t finish them I make up some like about “not loving how they end.”)
Also, first time commenting on Autostraddle – Star Trek is obviously the way to get me out of my shell.
LOVE ALL THE TREKKIES COMING OUT OF THE WOODWOOOORK TODAY PHOEBE
Love this list❤ A couple years ago I did an Inktober of all the sad girlfriends in Star Trek, so this is kinda my space and my area
IMPORTANT NOTE THOUGH: imo bump Kes up a few notches, entirely for the episode “Warlord” in which she gets possessed by an evil dead guy and is very sexy with his widow and gets THIS close to kissing her!!! It’s hot, I swear, Kes is great I’ll fight anyone
As I was reading I was getting concerned y’all forgot Tasha Yar but there she is at #1 where she belongs. Excellent job.
FYI Guinan has such Big Energy she scares Q.
If you don’t know who Q is think of that “survival of the fittest” white guy who when told he has less empathy than a literal caveman will smugly lecture that neanderthals are extinct and if humans cared for their “unfit” in the same way we’d be extinct too, but this asshole has godlike superpowers and tries to use them to prove himself correct by putting people in situations where he assumes they’ll just abandon their ethics.
Like if I didn’t already love Guinan already the fact she scares Q would be enough.
wow thank you for helping me realize how many of these babes I had crushes on as young person
Okay but TNG episode The Outcast needs some kind of honorable mention for non-binary lesbians as well as having the Big Transgender Storyline that made me cry buckets as a baby gay. The speech Soren makes about being trans on her world is peak Lesbian Jesus even though her crime is being a heterosexual woman on a planet where the average person is both agender and intersex.
Unpleasant take: Pulaski is gayer than this list clocks her as, she’s just a TERF.
OMG Dani this is spot on
This! Agree to agree!
This is so good!! (says the person who has framed photos of Star Trek women in their hallway)
Being a lez “slightly trekkie” from childhood, this article was a joy for me. I laughed my fucking ass off. It’s literally what my friends and I would write. I LOVE you. Thanks for brightening up a politically fucked up day for me. Live long and pussy on…
100% here for the whole “Crushing on Wesley Crusher because he looked a lot like the girls I was afraid to admit crushing on” thing.
Also, Kira Nerys set me up for years of obsession with “righteously angry + short hair” types. Still not over it.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR IMPORTANT AND VITAL WORK
wow you guys thank u all for affirming my wesley crusher feelings! i was really elbows-deep in so much star trek adjacent materials the past few weeks that i was like, wow everybody hated this guy? i thought he was so great????? now i feel so much better and also so close to my queer community.
SPOILERS FOR DISCOVERY!!!
Would like to add that Airiam from Discovery low key became a major character a couple of weeks ago and then…died.
So that’s gay.
I bloody loved her and had been waiting for her backstory for ages, it felt SO cruel to get the info on her whole deal and her death all in the same 47 mins. Thanks for nothing Discovery!! (Still love you tho, you weird ass show).
Wait, is that Whitney Avalon in that lesbian couple?
Princess Rap Battles just got a whole lot more interesting.
Where has this list been all my life?!
Okay not a huge fan of navigator ilia weird gross cishet treatment of a woman character and not to be pedantic I’m a lil suspicious of the “just avoid men as any lesbian knows” bc if we’re functioning in the binary of “estrogen dominant” and “testosterone dominant” bc hormone bs (which like still varies wildly from person to person and is not necessarily a strictly “biologic” gender thing) like
That sounds bad
Like there’s so many people who are not men who have high levels of testosterone that that would hypothetically trigger so that comment puts up red flags for me especially as a trans person.
The female changeling is not non-binary I an enby reject the facist goo people as anything even adjacent to rep
Also Beverley is defo cishet and a terf and my proof is I’m trans and her character gives strong white feminism energy which is inherently cishet and also the episode where trills as a species are introduced in TNG and she falls in love with one who is a man but he dies and they have to transfer the symbiote to a different trill who is a woman and tries to continue having a relationship with Beverley which, while a bad time a dude just died and processing needs to happen not romance, did not warrant Beverley throwing a fit and telling the trill she betrayed Beverley for being “dishonest” about who they (the trill and symbiote) were. I’m sure there’s other examples but this is just off the dome lol
otherwise a fairly good and comprehensive list
Loved all of this. I need to know your analysis of Commdander Shelby from TNGay best of both worlds!
I agree with all of this, except that Tilly is gay + Michael’s girlfriend, and Uhura is bisexual AF, I’m sorry I don’t make the rules. Like, she only kissed Kirk when she was being possessed by someone else, and also she tried to stab Sulu for harassing her, and also her thighs and abs give me life.
It feels like this article was made for me. I love it.
Just have to point out, though, that Tilly has very strong Gay Energy during literally any interaction with Michael. Also, Reno is literally a canon sapphic, so she should probably be #1 just for that. Other than that, amazing.
Can we get a #51 for Lt. Jae???
My gf and I just spent three nights binging Discovery season 2 and I feel compelled to return here to talk about Me Hani Ika Hali Ka Po and the Xaheans.
I know we’ve only seen one of them in 2 episodes and one short, but the Xaheans def take the prize for most gay species (sorry Bajorans). Not only are they like small forest creatures who literally turn invisible, but their Queen
calls her planet “my sister’
is mistrustful of others
saves the universe
Vibes with Tilly
Since we probably won’t get a spin-off series about Xahea I’m hoping for some quality fanfics ~
so i am a straight guy, and i am also pretty much a jerk (not just because i’m a straight guy, i actually am a kind of a lame person). anyway, i had no idea that tig had ever been in any version of star trek. i’m not even that fond of her stand up, but she’s really brilliant, and when i have heard her interviewed, she is devastatingly real. anyway, i had no idea she had ever been on any version of star trek. thanks for letting me know.
oh, and, i met gates mcfadden a bunch of years ago, and i would swear that she had been aged for her role. she looked like a kid in 1999.
but yeah, tig… that woman is dynamite. i could not have lived through what she has.
This ranking will have to be redone! because now Seven’s canonically queer!!! Aaaa! CANON QUEER LADIES IN STAR TREK! (and now we have Raffi and Bjayzl and Captain Emily Bosch! god I’m so happy)
This comment has been removed as it is in violation of Autostraddle’s Comment Policy. Repeat or egregious offenders will be banned.
but Jadzia is /the/ Star Trek gay …… why isn’t she at #1 :’( also i pine for kira daily (clearly #2)
Time to update this article and move Seven of Nine up to the top, don’t you think?
Reading this, all I got out of it was: “Very angry lesbian with disturbingly unhinged hatred for straight people reveals which star trek females she humps her pillow for the most”
moderators please remove
this has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever seen. did you really include wesley because he “looks like a lesbian?”
so tell me… what does a lesbian look like? your own lgbt rhetoric would pin you right into your own corner.
sir, this is a wendy’s
The Star Trek: DS9’S episode “Rejoined” should satiate lesbians…as it shows two women in a loving relationship and a very very long kiss (a record long kiss for tv) and as for them being rrreallyy opposite sexed trills hi-jacking women’s bodies to share a “hetero-sexual” kiss …well heck THAT’S JUST A STAR TREK COP-OUT to please the would be angry lesbian-hating viewers.
You have in “Rejoined” the lesbian representation in Star Trek that you say you want, in spite of the atypical Star Trek bigoted attitude towards lesbians.
YOU (LESBIANS I MEAN) can and SHOULD celebrate because ….you finally WON! ♥️
sir, this is a wendy’s
My son Rex is chronically unemployed and lives at home, so I see him watching a lot of Star Trek stuff.
How is Uhura not a big dyke? Just because she was forced to kiss Kirk that one time, seems a stretch.
Agree 1000% about Tasha Yarr in the top spot though!!
You need to lay down some ground rules. Get a job and pay rent or be in school. Those are the rules.
Okay so we’re not gonna talk about how Lieutenant Commander Data and Odo aren’t the greatest lesbians of them all? 🤣 Especially Odo. He literally takes YEARS to tell Kira how he felt. He had to practice with a hologram. Peak lesbian behavior.
prettybacarat Join in the fun and make money easily, earn money every day with our website. baccarat gambling website Which is just a few steps, can play, fun, without limits, make money conveniently, choose to play all camps on the web, we are standard and stable that guaranteed
Hey there Autostraddle team! I just finished reading your article “Every Star Trek Character Ranked By Lesbianism” and it was hilarious! As a language model, I don’t have a gender identity, but I can appreciate the fun and creative ways that you all approached this ranking.
I completely agree with you on the fact that Star Trek has been lacking LGBTQ representation for way too long. It’s not only important for representation purposes, but it also makes sense considering how far into the future the series is set. Your point about the majority of the population being heterosexual women in 2334 is a great one. Why shouldn’t we be seeing more queer characters by now?
I loved your subjective criteria for ranking these characters by lesbianism. It’s great that you were able to collaborate with other members of the Autostraddle team to come up with this list. I’m particularly fond of your reasoning for ranking Navigator Ilia as number 55. The fact that her character was played by Persis Khambatta, a former beauty queen, was definitely an interesting fact to include.
Overall, your article was a fun read and I can imagine it being a hit among Star Trek fans. Keep up the great work, Autostraddle!