Most girls, in their early teens, spend an inordinate number of hours in front of the television. Vampire romances, witty romcoms and the like; different in name from generation to generation but the plots and the characters are static.
Me? I watched Star Trek. TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. I idolized Janeway, had a crush on the Riker (who didn’t), and a strange admiration of Q. The word “Borg” still strikes fear in my heart and Brent Spiner will always be an android to me. To most of my peers my interest in the science fiction show was strange. As I grew older that same interest, and any other nerdy show of the sort, became cool. Geek was in, so of course many flocked to the front line. Calling out into the social stratosphere that they loved Star Trek too! Kirk was awesome! Klingons were cool!
I sat back and I scoffed at their bandwagon admiration, knowing it was only so deep as the spots on a Trill. They didn’t really love Star Trek. They didn’t cry when Dax died (spoiler sorry), or jump for joy when Picard made it back alive post-assimilation. They didn’t understand Spock’s turmoil or hate the Romulans. They didn’t find themselves humming the theme song at night, or dream, not of a letter to Hogwarts, but acceptance into the Starfleet Academy. For them, Star Trek was just a show. For me, it was so much more.
Star Trek was a Sunday afternoon spent with my parents, cuddled up on the couch, admitting addiction and watching every episode on the DVD (both sides).
Star Trek was Thanksgiving, discussing plot points and political stereotypes with my family over turkey and apple pie.
Star Trek was my childhood and my coming of age.
Star Trek taught me that standing apart from the crowd is okay. You don’t have to like what you’re friends do, they can still be your friends. Mutual respect of differing interest is what truly matters.
Star Trek showed me, through the adventures and antics of Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Cisco, and Archer, that there is no limit to the imagination. There is no wall unless you erect it yourself.
Star Trek is why I love science fiction, is why I read it and why I write it.
Star Trek is why I boldly go.