A Star Trek star has confirmed that one of the characters on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was pansexual. Several members of the Deep Space Nine cast appeared at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention to promote the new documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Terry Farrell was among those cast members in attendance. During the panel, she confirmed that her character, the Trill Starfleet science officer Jadzia Dax, was pansexual. “The only rule was ‘are you interesting to me, and do I want to know more about you?’” Farrell said of Jadzia’s sexuality, according to Trek Movie.
Jadzia Dax was at the center of one of Deep Space Nine’s most boundary-pushing episodes, “Rejoined.” In the episode, Jadzia encounters Lenara Kahn, the widow of one of the Dax symbiont’s former hosts. Despite the taboo against new Trill hosts reuniting with the loved ones of their symbiont’s past hosts, Jadzia and Lenara share a kiss. It’s one of the earliest kisses between two women on American television, though the situation is complicated by both characters being aliens and that Lenara was married to a male Dax host.
In What We Left Behind, Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr discusses how he felt the show could have done better by the LGBTQ community. The documentary also confirmed that the character Garak was sexually attracted to Dr. Julian Bashir, revealing the character was gay (or bisexual, depending on how you interpret Garak’s relationship with Tora Ziyal). At the time, to suggest either relationship would have been risque for network television.
But times have changed. Star Trek: The Next Generation star LeVar Burton remarked in a conversation with ComicBook.com about how the Star Trek franchise has changed with the times, often leading the cultural conversation.
“There was a conversation, I know, in the offices in the Roddenberry Building, which is where the show was produced from, I know that there was a conversation about whether or not we were going to introduce a gay couple,” Burton said. “They backed away from it. However, how wonderful, Jonathan (Del Arco) was saying, that Star Trek itself has evolved to where it feels comfortable including that demographic, that dynamic, that aspect of diversity openly. There's a gay couple in Discovery, played by Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz.
“Star Trek has led the culture. Star Trek was responsible for the first interracial kiss on television in America. It just speaks to the ability of the franchise, of this storytelling franchise to continue to evolve. It's a good sign for its continuing longevity. I believe that Star Trek will continue to be popular all over this planet because of, yes, its entertainment value, but because of its perhaps inspirational value as well.”
What do you think of Jadzia Dax’s pansexuality? Let us know in the comments.