It’s been a rough couple of weeks for queer sci-fi fans: First we lost Sam Adama, one of the most complex gay characters in the history of the genre, when Syfy burned Caprica. And now Syfy has pulled the plug on Stargate: Universe, taking with it lesbian IOA officer Camile Wray. [Insert big nerdy sigh.]
All the way back in ’09 we were giddy when we broke the news that Ming-Na would be joiningSGU, making her the first Asian-American lesbian series regular on a primetime broadcast or basic cable TV show. And when we found out Reiko Aylesworth had been cast as her life partner, we were beside ourselves. Lesbians in a committed relationship in space? Yes, please!
We had fears, of course. Firstly, sci-fi is often geared toward young male viewers and we hoped against hope that SGU‘s writers didn’t turn Camile and Sharon into a teenage fantasy. Secondly, we got word that Camile was going to “body-swap” with a male character at some point and sleep with her girlfriend. The age-old “lesbian shags a dude” storyline had us really worried. But our fears came to naught, and Camile and Sharon’s relationship was often the emotional gravity that anchored the show to earth.
On board the ancient ship Destiny, Camile was a standard HBIC, standing up for the civilian members of the crew and refusing to bow to the sexism that had plagued her for her entire career. She was firm and occasionally cold, but she got stuff done! On earth with Sharon, however, Camile was warm and affectionate and vulnerable. She and Sharon were in a long-term relationship and they were committed to making it work no matter what. The writers never shied away from them because they were lesbians. They made dinner together, they made love together, they made promises to each other. And they’ve kept those promises. Even with limited relationship options — they are trapped on a ship, you know — Camile never wavered in her dedication to Sharon.
SGU has already filmed ten episodes for the second season. They plan to air them in the spring. So Camile Wray isn’t gone just yet. Unfortunately, Ming-Na found out Camile Wray would be gone from Twitter.
What do you think about Syfy’s recent cancellations?