When I was a little girl growing up in the heart of Pennsyltucky, I lived with my mom’s family in a small town where I was one of few if not the only person of color. Everyone around me was white. Pretty much everyone I saw on TV was white. There were a few exceptions, but most of the women of color I saw on TV were usually characters who had very little power. They were either in the background serving the people around them, or they were sexualized objects. There weren’t a lot of role models out there for a young ethnically mixed person of color for me to relate to in popular culture. Then I started watching Star Trek.
Not only was there a woman of color who served on the bridge as the communications officer of a starship, but she was also friends with a handsome alien who was, like me, the child of a “mixed marriage.” Science Fiction provided me with two people I could not only relate to, but also admire as role models. Lieutenant Nyota Uhura gave women of color hope and the courage to step outside of the expectations society had in mind for us. And, Mr. Spock’s ethnic heritage was one of his strengths, not a weakness like he was led to believe while growing up on Vulcan. These two characters had a profound influence on me at a very young age. I identified with both of them and wanted to be just like them when I grew up. I’m still waiting to be invited to Star Fleet Academy, but I haven’t given up hope.
Today’s post is going to be a little different than the previous ones. I’m going to talk about two characters instead of just one. I know these posts are supposed to be talking about totally fuckable fictional characters and I intend to stick with that theme. However, today I’m also going to talk about two characters who I always imagined coming together as a couple when I was a child. As an adult, my dreams came true.
February 22: Mr. Spock and Nyota Uhura
I am aware that many die-hard Star Trek fans were confused and a bit unsettled by the decision to make Mr. Spock and Lieutenant Uhura a couple in the 2009 film, Star Trek. I couldn’t have been happier. It’s like someone had been flipping through the files of my childhood fantasies and granted me a secret wish. So, for the fans who either don’t understand their relationship or for some reason oppose it, feel free to get over it.
In the famous scene in which the first interracial kiss in television history took place between Uhura and Kirk, the original script was written for Spock and Uhura to share that kiss. According to Nichelle Nichols: “My understanding is Bill Shatner took one look at the scene and said, ‘No you will not! If anyone’s going to be part of the first interracial kiss in television history, it’s going to be me!’ So they rewrote it.”
Fuck you, Captain Kirk. I’m almost 100% sure that if I would have witnessed Spock and Uhura kissing as a child, my teen dating experiences would have gone a lot differently. And, I’m pretty sure we would have seen some super sexy episodes of Star Trek after that. Whelp, I guess that’s what fan fiction is for. Am I right?
When I was a kid Mr. Spock was one of my favorite characters. Period. I always preferred him to Captain Kirk, and was usually puzzled, especially after I hit puberty, about why Kirk got so many chicks and Spock was practically celibate. Clearly, he was more attractive, more intelligent, gifted in ways that resembled magic, and he respected all people regardless of where they came from. He had a childhood that I could empathize with, and his differences often made him seem like an outsider. He was usually the voice of reason, and he had some of the best wisdom to offer his friends and colleagues.
In the original series, Spock has a few flirtations with women from time to time, and he was engaged to a Vulcan woman as part of an arranged marriage. In a society where emotions are not valued, the concept of love is irrelevant when it comes to marriage. Marriages are arranged for more practical reasons. And, I would imagine one of the primary reasons to wed is to deal with pon farr, the hormonal imbalance Vulcans experience every 7 years that triggers the need for sexual intercourse, preferably with a mate. If a Vulcan is unable to have sex with a mate or another object of desire, the consequences could be insanity and/or death.
The fact that Mr. Spock could potentially go insane if he doesn’t get laid makes him an extremely interesting character. I mean, who doesn’t want a partner who is literally driven wild by desire. Chemical imbalance or not, that is totally hot. Vulcans are able to have sex at other times, despite the fact that some people thought that Spock and his fellow Vulcans were only interested in sex every seven years. Pon farr is simply a biological impulse that helps ensure procreation. An antiquated ritual is performed and then the person experiencing the hormonal imbalance has sex with their mate or object of desire to alleviate the symptoms. Unless your mate chooses someone else.
Okay, that’s enough about Mr. Spock’s sex life. Just kidding.
Despite the fact that Mr. Spock is an alien from a planet that prizes a lack of emotions as a sign of superiority, he’s usually the one character who is most in touch with his emotions. Perhaps it is because he spends so much time trying to deny that he has any, that he actually has a better grasp of emotional maturity and can empathize with others when they are feeling extreme states of any emotion. His humanity makes him passionate and caring, a loyal friend, but his alien appearance makes him somehow sexier than the human men on the Enterprise. Don’t get me wrong; Scotty and Chekov are both hot in their own ways, but Mr. Spock’s appearance has always been more appealing to me than any other character. His pointy ears, shiny coal black hair, large, devilish eyebrows and tall, slim body created a blueprint in my young mind of what attractive men should look like. Alien. Devilish. Vampiric. Otherworldly. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Leonard Nimoy was obviously my first Spock, and he will always have a special place in my heart. In fact, I couldn’t imagine anyone else filling those black pointy-toed boots. Until an actor who plays some of my favorite psychos, Zachary Quinto, put on the pointy ears and Spock stole my heart all over again.
Quinto’s Spock is a bit more emotional that Nimoy’s, but Leonard Nimoy gave his blessing when Zachary was chosen to take on the role of Spock.
And, most importantly, Quinto’s Spock gets to kiss Uhura. And judging by that kiss, we can all infer that there’s more than just kissing between these two. They kiss as if there has been intimacy between them for some time. Their kiss not only satisfied one of my childhood desires, it was totally hot and worth the wait. The sexy, dark-haired, modest science officer got the girl instead of the womanizing jackass captain. I don’t know about everybody else, but this geeky woman of color was giddy with delight. And incredibly turned on.
Let’s take another look.
We better take another look. You know, for Science.
Seriously, these two are totally into each other and anyone who thinks otherwise is high on goofballs.
I mean, how can you watch this and not see that Spock and Uhura are in love?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m going to keep holding on to my childhood dream that a dark-haired stranger from another land will whisk me off to discover the secrets of space.