According to Brannon Braga, if a televised Star Trek show was being produced today, there would probably be a gay character in the show.
Braga, involved with three of the televised series and two Star Trek movies, explained why even though there were discussions on the matter, no gay character was included in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager or Enterprise. “It was a shame for a lot of us that … I’m talking about the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and there was a constant back and forth about well how do we portray the spectrum of sexuality. There were people who felt very strongly that we should be showing casually, you know, just two guys together in the background in Ten Forward.”
“At the time the decision was made not to do that and I think those same people would make a different decision now because I think, you know, that was 1989, well yeah about ’89, ’90, ’91,” said Braga. “I have no doubt that those same creative players wouldn’t feel so hesitant to have, you know, have been squeamish about a decision like that.”
But Star Trek did occasionally deal with the topic “metaphorically” according to Braga, “Next Generation did a couple episodes you could say … I worked on one for Deep Space Nine with Dax [Rejoined],” said Braga. “I don’t know if I can speak to the whole genre of science fiction, certainly the Star Trek franchise as it existed at the time.”
Braga does not think that a future Star Trek movie needs a gay character, although it would be a different story if a Star Trek television series went into production again. “Well, I mean, the movie is such a different bird,” he said. “If there were a TV series, I would agree with you. But for a movie, I personally wouldn’t. With a TV series you’re creating a whole world, you’re creating a whole. You were saying, ‘if this is going to last for five years, and if you don’t go there, then yes you got some questions.’ A two-hour movie and you’re sitting there and you’re eating your popcorn, if doesn’t fit … if it’s not part of the story, it’s not part of the story. There are many things that aren’t part of the story, you know? That’s my personal opinion.”