In response to a Star Trek writer's excellent rebuttal to a homophobic reader, we've had a lot of discussions in the last 24 hours about diversity in science fiction, how Star Trek should show a wider ranger of sexualities onscreen, and why alien sexuality and reproduction shouldn't necessarily resemble that of humans.
There were a number of thoughtful comments (and some hilarious ones—I'm looking at you, FrankN.Stein) and discussions regarding diversity in Star Trek: whether Star Trek's is metaphorical rather than actual, Star Trek's poor record of depicting homosexuality onscreen, whether you'd really want to get it on with an alien, and how the novels have pushed sexual diversity in the Star Trek universe farther.
ComradeDread notes that, as long as we're talking about aliens, there are even more sexual and reproductive options to choose from:
I'd expect alien mating and reproduction to have a lot more diversity than even the various options and pairings that exist within humanity: asexual reproduction; species that have 3+ genders or no concept of gender at all; species that require specific environments or conditions to mate; etc.
If you're a sci-fi reader, I would have thought you'd just take a relationship that included sexuality that was outside of your own norm as a given and enjoy the story.
A few commenters go on to note examples of Star Trek species that show greater sexual and gender diversity than we usually see on Star Trek—although, on the other hand, there are plenty of real, human gender expressions and types of sexual relationships that see little representation in popular media. We can't help but agree with Singlestick, who comments:
My only objection would be that neither Trek nor other SF works should "try" to include more diversity. It should be standard operating procedure.