The first time I watched Star Trek, I was eleven. I was coming to terms with my sexuality (early bloomer), and everything around me seemed to be a little bit gayer than it actually was. It was The Original Series, and I instantly suspected that something was going on between the Captain and his First Officer (and that if it wasn't, it should have been.) At this time in my life, I had no concept of slash. I didn't even know what fanfiction was.
I stopped watching for a few years, and pretty much forgot about the whole thing. Now I'm a lot more comfortable with myself, and I no longer feel the need to read gay subtext into everything. From this place, I started watching Star Trek again. But this time, I was even more convinced that Kirk and Spock were in love with each other- it kind of bitch-slaps you in the face. I wondered if I was the only one with stinging cheeks. Some quality time on the Internet led me to the convoluted world of fanfiction, and Spirk shippers, and debates over whether these two were canon. I decided to form my own opinion about the whole thing. Here is my journey.
First of all, I needed a specific definition of the boundaries of canon. "The 'official' source material upon which fan fiction can be based...It is important to note that something that is regarded as 'canon' is regarded as being essentially a verifiable fact in the given fandom." (Thanks, Wikipedia.) There is a lot of controversy over what exactly is and is not canon, especially in such a detail-oriented and intense fandom as Star Trek.
Next, I looked for evidence within the show. There's a lot of it, and I'm not going to go over it here. Instead, I will direct your attention to Brittany, a dedicated K/S shipper, who can explain it all to you with so much more eloquence and thoroughness. She's awesome.
.net/s/5105759/18/Analyzation C ommentary_of_TOS_for_KS
.com/user/The Ships Closet (take out the spaces)
All of this pointed towards a semi-canon relationship. By semi-canon, I mean that it is a valid interpretation of the material, but not the only one. It is not conclusively proven or dis-proven, and left somewhat up to personal opinion. I thought it was possible that the actors had a strange acting style (they did) that made it seem like they were pretty much flirting with everybody. It seemed fitting that they would turn up their flirty acting style a notch to play best friends.
But then I found this lovely little quote from Gene Roddenberry:
"Yes, there's certainly some of that -- certainly with love overtones. Deep love. The only difference being, the Greek ideal-- we never suggested in the series-- physical love between the two. But it's the-- we certainly had the feeling that the affection was sufficient for that, if that were the particular style of the 23rd century."
I verbally squealed when I read this quote, and it was the only thing I could talk about for hours afterward. I ran around telling my family "They're canon! It's official! Gene Roddenberry told me! Aaagh!" Yeah, I was pretty excited.
So now we know: Kirk/Spock is canon in the way that Dumbledore being gay is canon. It's not actually in the source material, only hinted, but the creator explicitly said that it was their intention when they wrote it. Now, some rare people still contest the Dumbledore situation. If you want to be a purist about it, then I guess it's not technically canon. But to me, it feels silly to reject the original intentions of the artist. There are a surprising amount of people who don't accept Kirk and Spock's relationship's place in canon (including JJ Abrams.... GAH), while Dumbledore is widely accepted. I hope people come to their senses soon and acknowledge one of the cutest, most kickass fictional couples in the history of ever. Thank you. ::Steps off soapbox::
Whew. Okay, I hope that little narrative rant made sense. Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts, questions, comments, and complaints. Thanks!
P.S. Check out the awesome SEE trek love petition about getting gay characters on Star Trek. :)