It was an obvious reference to the debate over homosexuality in our own society. Although, overall, I feel the episode fell short on social commentary. Perhaps this is why the Startrek franchise has floundered over the last few years - they've deviated from the formula that Gene Roddenberry used in the original series where many episodes had strong commentary on sexism, feminism, racism, as well as militarism and peace - all major social issues during the late 1960's.
The highlight of the episode was where Soren declares that she is female
I am tired of lies.I think this episode would have been much more profound had they not had Riker fall in love with Soren - and if Soren had not responded to the treatment in the end. Rather, how much more powerful would it have been if Soren had lost her position and standing in society, and becomes an outcast - as the enterprise departs, powerless to do anything to help lest they violate the prime directive.
I am female. I was born that way. I have had those feelings...those longings...all my life. It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way.
I do not need to be helped, and I do not need to be cured. What I do need -- what all of those like me need -- is your understanding and your compassion.
We do not injure you in any way. And yet we are scorned, and attacked. And all because we are different.
What we do is no different from what you do. We talk and laugh...we complain about work and we wonder about growing old...we talk about our families, and we worry about the future...We cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All the loving things that you do with each other...that's what we do. And for that, we are called misfits, and deviants...and criminals.
What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?
A new Startrek movie coming May 8th. It looks promising; but, I hope they are able to return to the original vision of Startrek. If they simply try to mimic Star Wars - then they will fail.
btw, here is a site that contains non-explicit, (G to PG-13) stories, poetry, and art depicting a gay Startrek universe.
Some people have way too much time on their hands ...