casI have a zillion interviews to transcribe today, but I had to take time out of that to bring you this most exciting piece of news. While Paramount may be dropping the ball on the Star Trek franchise, the fans just won’t let it die. Especially the gay ones. Star Trek: The Hidden Frontier has taken the Klingon by the nasal ridge and introduced an element of homosexuality into Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.

What’s weird is that, except for George Takei and every episode of all the shows, there’s never been anything gay in Star Trek. This is the show that had TV’s first interracial kiss and that subjected Frank Gorshin to being painted like a black and white cookie to make social statements, yet in none of the seemingly endless and terrible spin-off series was homosexuality ever explored. As far as I know there were no explicitly gay characters on any Star Trek show or in any Star Trek film.

Hidden Frontier isn’t a specifically gay Star Trek fanwank; it’s been running for an astonishing seven seasons, filmed in front of a green screen in a guy’s garage. The show has apparently tackled gay themes for years now, and has seen the first same-sex kiss on a Star Trek show, no matter how legally tenuous the connection.

Producer Rob Caves says that tackling gay subjects is important. “I was just finishing college (film school) when Hidden Frontier was starting,” he says. “And, it was at that time that I was coming to terms with my own sexuality.” Poor guy – imagine having to go home and tell your mom all this. I wonder if she replied, “Have you tried to stop being involved in Star Trek fanfilms?”

I kid the Star Trek fans because they’re creepy, but I think that what Hidden Frontier is doing is great. In the “including gay characters” sense, not in the “wasting your life prancing around in Starfleet uniforms in front of a green screen until Paramount can be bothered with legally crushing you” sense. It’s highlighting a real deficiency in Star Trek, and I’m not talking about plot, acting or scripts – a whole group of people has been left out of the vision of the future.

Click here to check out Star Trek: Hidden Frontier.