In yesterday's Newsarama, Jill Pantozzi offers an intriguing op-ed about the future of LGBT characters in the Star Trek franchise.
She correctly recalls the TNG episode about the androgynous species that is punished for choosing a gender, but bypasses the episode involving Dr. Crusher having a romantic entanglement with a joined Trill who is subsequently transferred to a female host, or the Trill love affair in DS9 with a similar plot thread that resulted in the first onscreen kiss between two women in the Star Trek world.
Likewise, Data's casual remark during the toast in Star Trek: Nemesis, "Ladies, gentlemen and any transgendered species..." was not played for laughs, but taken as a matter of course. I refer you to 7:19 in this clip.
However, the price to pay is Brent Spiner's singing (he's actually OK).
A script by Troubles with Tribbles writer David Gerrold, Blood and Iron, was filmed independently, and features a prominent gay relationship. Thanks to Jill for alerting me to this in her article! This is cool in so many ways- a lovely dedication, a great space battle, and the inclusion of the "Pride colored" NBC peacock.
Here's Part II.
This Phase II stuff is pretty smart. I haven't had time to keep up, but if you want more, go to this site.
Meanwhile, real GLBT characterization in SF remains largely the province of the printed word.