Star Trek has always been at the forefront of diversification over the decades – The Original Series famously featured one of TV’s first interracial kisses, for example. Due to network rules and constraints, though, the franchise was historically unable to take the strides it wanted towards better LGBTQ representation. Notably, Seven of Nine was intended to be gay back in Star Trek: Voyager, but the producers were ultimately unsuccessful in making that happen. Fast forward to 2020, though, and the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard has finally put history right.
Jeri Ryan returned to the Trek universe in the episode “Absolute Candor,” but this week’s “Stardust City Rag” saw the character take on a much bigger role. We learned all about the tragic turns her life has taken since Voyager ended, including her past with the Fenris Rangers vigilante group and her betrayal at the hands of former ally turned enemy Bjayzl. Bjayzl infiltrated the Rangers but was really a crime boss looking to sell Borg implants on the black market. To this end, she betrayed Seven by violently stripping the Borg tech from her surrogate son Icheb, leading to his death.
This betrayal hit all the harder because of the closeness of Seven and Bjayzl’s relationship. The nature of it’s not made explicit in dialogue, but it’s very clear that the pair were “intimate.” This seemingly confirms that Seven is gay, after all, which is something that fans can celebrate. Though it’ll likely be muted due to the dark turn Seven’s romance with Bjayzl took. Picard tries his best to talk her round, but Seven kills her ex-lover in cold blood for what she did to Icheb.
It’s interesting that Star Trek: Picard has so far failed to make any mention of First Officer Chakotay (Robert Beltran), who Seven was in a relationship with by the end of Voyager. In light of this revelation, though, maybe we can infer that their romance ultimately ended as Seven learned more about herself and better understood her sexuality.