Q Syndicate✴Aug 4, 2016
In Hollywood hype for the latest Star Trek movie, word got out that Helmsman Hikaro Sulu, played by straight actor John Cho, has a husband in the new film, Star Trek: Beyond. Everyone involved probably intended this as tribute to gay actor George Takei, who originated the role in the 1960's TV series. Takei's reaction must have come as a disappointment.
"I’m delighted that there’s a gay character," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate." ...
"I told [Cho], 'Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.'"Frankly, hardly any of the crew on the original show had a sex life unless Captain Kirk or First Officer Spock were involved, so it doesn't necessarily follow that TV-Sulu was "closeted." As any hardcore Trekkie, Trekker, Trekkoid or Tribble will tell you in animated detail, the only clue to Helmsman Sulu ever having a sex life of any kind comes in Star Trek: Generations (1994), in which Captain Kirk meets Hikaro's daughter Demora on duty as Helmsman of the Enterprise B. (For that matter, Sulu and his husband have a toddler daughter in Beyond as well. It's not as if 23rd Century gay people won't have been raising families for 250 years.)
As far as the "closeted" thing is concerned, you could argue that, at least, Dr. McCoy assumes Sulu is straight at the end of the "Shore Leave" episode. Just don't be alarmed if my eyes glaze over while you do.