As progressive as Star Trek has always been, it’s only recently that we’ve started to see some LGBTQ characters in the franchise. Star Trek: Picard‘s first season, for example, finally heavily hinted that Seven of Nine is queer, something that was always intended for the heroine back in Voyager but producers were never able to show on screen. While this is great stride forward, we’ve still yet to see any proper representation on the show.
While speaking to Variety in reflection on the CBS All Access series’ debut run, showrunner Michael Chabon explained his personal approach to exploring characters’ sexuality. He said that he likes to dive deeper into the protagonists’ personalities in an organic way and with all the plot to get through in these 10 episodes, there simply wasn’t much room to look at their inner lives in this sense. However, he teased that this would change in season 2.
“Well, the way that people’s identity is constructed with sexuality as a component of it, in my experience, it emerges in a much more organic [way], and not like wearing a t-shirt that says, you know, Queer Power — or the equivalent in the 24th century,” Chabon says. “We get to know these characters the way we get to know real people. It emerges in conversation when it would emerge in conversation… We’re doing it in a different way. We’re doing it in an organic way — what feels organic to me… And it will continue to emerge… I think we’ll have more time for that in the second season than we’ve had in the first season… We just had so many characters and so much story to tell in this first season, that a lot of the sort of more personal aspects of things — including again, like people’s families, and all that stuff — just all got sort of left [behind].”
This fits with that final scene of the season 1 finale, which featured Jean-Luc and his crew setting off again in La Sirena. One of the most talked-about elements from this sequence was Seven and Raffi sharing what looked to be an affectionate, romantic moment together. This has to be suggesting that we’ll get some sparks between them, at least, next season. This follows on from the implication that Seven was once lovers with Bjayzl before they became enemies back in episode 6.
Away from Seven, Chabon’s also previously offered that Elnor’s sexuality could be explored as well. Similar to his comments here, he noted that it wasn’t time to dig into this side of him in season 1, but it could happen in season 2 or after. It looks like Star Trek: Picard is going to be working towards better LGBTQ rep as it goes forward, then, and for now, we just need to sit tight.