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I’ve never really been a big fan of the Sci-fi genre, apart from a bit of an obsession with Doctor Who and a childhood love of Star Wars. But everyone’s allowed to like the odd film or TV show from a selection of different genres. However, recently I’ve found myself to be quite partial to the odd bit of Sci-fi.
Over the last few weeks I’ve basically shut myself out from the rest of the world, and immersed myself in the television show Heroes. After 77 episodes and copious amounts of hours dedicated to watching this show I can honestly say I’ve been converted to the Sci-Fi cause, but one of the main things I took away from the show was how much you can read Sci-fi, and this show in particular, as an allegory for gay rights.
This may sound a little strange, but let’s take a look at the whole thing. If you don’t like spoilers then stop reading now, but if you don’t mind them then carry on.
Firstly the show centres on a group of people who have certain abilities like telekinesis, mind reading, the power to heal themselves, stop time and fly, amongst many other different abilities. These people, also known as specials to those in the show, are hidden away in society afraid to come out so to speak, and show ‘normal’ people what they can do.
Throughout each season we see various scenarios about what will happen if they do come out. In some of these scenarios they are accepted, and in other scenarios, other members of society hunt them because they are scared of them.
This can be seen as reflective of what happened to gay people in society as for many years gay people stayed hidden, feeling that they were not the same as straight people and many lived in absolute fear of persecution, and many in certain countries still do, just like the specials.
Throughout the show, during flashback segments and primarily in season one, the majority of people with abilities don’t realise that there are others like them, just like many young people when they first realise that they are attracted to members of the same sex.
By season four of the series we are introduced to a group of specials living at a carnival as they were either rejected by friends or family, or simply had nowhere to turn, as they were different.
As many of us are aware, over the years many gay people around the world have suffered issues of rejection from friends and family and society in general, this in turn has resulted in communities being formed, the fact that we have LGBT pride parades are a prime example of this.
Sadly Heroes was cancelled at the end of season four, and judging by the final episode of the show, season five would have seen the specials integrating into society, being proud of who they are. However we will never know what would have happened to the specials. We can only assume that like gay people they would have integrated and gradually people would have learnt that they were not to be feared.
This would have been similar to when gay people finally came out of the closet, and after much persecution and resistance society learned that people from the LGBT community were not to be feared either. However, as we know this is not true of all places around the world, and many gay people are still persecuted and their fate at the moment is very much as mysterious as what happened to the specials. But as they mentioned several times in season four, the world and people can change, and one day this will hopefully be true of the whole world when it comes to LGBT rights. If many Sci-Fi programmes are to be believed, then it most definitely will.