I very much relate to James T. Kirk. We are both brilliant, incredibly talented, and too attractive for our own good. It is a cross we bear with great humility. Because of the strong similarities between myself and Kirk, I tend to think of him as a panromantic pansexual like myself. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy author interpretations that paint Kirk differently. Recently, I decided to look for some Kirk fics that cast him as asexual or aromantic. These fics are particularly difficult to find since Kirk is such a sexual character and The Original Series Kirk seems to fall in love every other episode. But I thought it would be especially interesting to see Kirk written as being a part of the asexual spectrum and, lo and behold I found an amazing fic that gave me not only an aromantic Kirk, but an aromantic Spock as well!
“Aromantic heterosexual,” she elaborated. “I’m not romantically attracted to anyone. Just like aces, the difference being that I am sexually attracted to people,” she smiled mischievously, “as you well know.”
“Wait, wait, back up,” Jim said haltingly. He was having trouble thinking well. “So…when, when you say you don’t feel romantically attracted to anyone—how do you know?”
“Well,” Q’uorra said slowly, “I guess the best way to describe it is that romantic love—the very concept—feels…weird, to me. Foreign. I don’t really get it, or empathize with it, because I don’t really understand how the way you love good friends is different from the way you love an SO. That’s probably the biggest signal.”
“That’s a thing?” Jim said earnestly, staring at Q’uorra intently. “There’s a name for it?”
The Right Person by sheepybaa (great name, by the way) accurately displays Kirk as he struggles to understand his lack of romantic inclinations while living in a romance centered world. One of the reasons that I love this fic is because of how realistically it addresses what a lot of aromantics go through, feeling there is something wrong with them or simply feeling out of place. In the fic, Kirk meets a girl who is also aromantic and she helps him figure things out. He later identifies as an aromantic pansexual. He also helps Spock come to terms with his own similar feelings.
This is a short fic but it’s still really good and insightful, and quite honestly we need more stories with aromantic characters. People on the asexual spectrum tend to be ignored by the media and even the queer community; people today rarely even talk about romantic orientations, let alone discuss the idea of not being interested in romance at all. People who are aromantic are often regarded as “unfeeling” or “sluts” (if they are also allosexual). It’s a real problem, and it’s a prejudice that Kirk deals with in this fic. At first I was a bit thrown by that. Despite the fact that the writing for Star Trek isn’t always perfect, in the the Star Trek universe Earth is supposed to be a utopia. So I was thrown when the reading the fic and learning that aromantics still suffered prejudice. But after some consideration I decided that it was necessary for the fic to be written the way it was. While this fic is fun and entertaining in a lot of ways I felt it was more of a teaching story; it would be hard to discuss aromantics and the problems they face without discussing prejudice.
Overall it was a great fic and I would highly recommend everyone checking it out here on the AO3!
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