I feel like what the makers of Star Trek Beyond (2016) want me to focus on isn’t the movie’s themes and subtext, but the fact that one of their characters is a dude who likes other dudes.
I feel like Veronica Corningstone in Anchorman (2004) when she is trying to read the news. The Star Trek Beyond filmmakers are trying to distract me — trying to draw my attention away from thinking about the Big Questions their movie is asking — by saying “Look! A gay man!”
I don’t mind the fact that there are gay people in movies. There are gay people in real-life, and to say “No! No! People like that don’t exist!” is dishonest.
What I mind is feeling like I am being told “You have no choice: You must accept the way I choose to live my life.”
Why do I say “…the way I choose to live my life”? Because: Even though being gay, according to people who are gay, isn’t a choice, no one is forcing Sulu to raise a daughter with a same-sex partner. That is a choice he is making.
This news makes me appreciate science fiction movies like Prometheus (2012) more. Why? Because: Prometheus was a movie about the origins of life, the fate of a person’s soul, and belief in a higher power: What mattered to the filmmakers was telling a good story, not being “inclusive.” (Prometheus had its flaws, but the stuff I liked outnumbered the stuff I didn’t.)