As fans of Star Trek continue to celebrate the groundbreaking LGBTQ storylines of the longtime franchise, as well as a number of performers who have come out of the closet, one longtime Trek actor has spoken out to make sure fans know his character was actually gay, even if the show never made his sexuality explicit.
Actor Andrew Robbinson, who played the duplicitous tailor Elam Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has finally set the record straight…or gay, in this case. In the 2018 documentary What You Leave Behind, Robinson wants fans to know that Garak was actually gay. He also confirmed that Garak had a longtime crush on the station doctor Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) during the series run.
“At first, he just wanted to have sex with him,” the actor says of the Garak-Bashir relationship. “That’s absolutely clear. That’s all he wanted from him. … But then it really got complicated, especially when Garak’s addiction and despair began to surface.”
Producer Ira Stephen Behr corroborates Robbinson’s assertion.
“Garak was clearly gay,” Behr says in the film. “I mean, everyone knew it. And we never played it. What we should have done, after … the episode where Bashir helps [Garak] get over his addiction, we should have had Garak come out to Bashir as a gay Cardassian.”
Behr also states that he and other writers of the show never approached the producers about including the storyline in the series, as they figured doing so would be a futile gesture. During the 1980s, 90s and into the 2000s, Star Trek attracted a good deal of criticism and innuendo from fans as well as actors and other creative personnel from the franchise for the exclusion of LGBTQ related storylines.