Sexuality in K/S Fiction: McCoy: Support of K/S

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Title: Sexuality in K/S Fiction: McCoy: Support of K/S
Creator: Linda Frankel
Date(s): Fall of 1985
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic: Fanfiction, Kirk/Spock
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Sexuality in K/S Fiction: McCoy: Support of K/S was a installment of Linda Frankel's regular column, "Sexuality in K/S Fanfiction," which appeared in Not Tonight, Spock! #11.

The column discussed McCoy’s support of K/S.

first page of essay

Fiction Discussed

The Series

For the seven other essays in this series, see Sexuality in K/S Fiction.


I decided that my topic would be the reaction of McCoy to the K/S relationship and the role he plays in supporting it. Because(loveable) curmudgeon though he is in the overwhelming majority of K/S stories that I've seen McCoy does accept the K/S relationship and can be fiercely loyal in its defense.

He usually exhibits less homophobia than either Kirk or Spock often show. This is probably because his training has made him more objective about sexuality. Yet in "Shelter" (originally in WARPED SPACE 20 and reprinted in K/S RELAY 3) by Leslie Fish, McCoy is far from professionally objective. He utilizes Freudian analysis to attempt to determine the causes of Spock's attraction to Kirk. I find this speculative psychoanalysis patronizing and oppressive. McCoy never asks himself why he prefers women. Heterosexuality is not seen as mysterious or in need of investigation. It is homosexuality that needs to be explained. The fact is that no one fully understands how people come to have any sexual preference. Any objective treatment of the question would recognize this. "Shelter" is deservedly regarded as a classic, but the story would be even better if McCoy showed any realization that homosexuality isn't a special case whose etiology needs to be determined like

an illness. TIME OUT OF MIND by Nathan St. Germaine and Keith Donovan, a temporary mental aberration causes McCoy to voice acute homophobia. In this novel, both Kirk and McCoy are subject to fits of hostility and paranoia. What seemed to be happening is that temporal disorientation was disturbing their sense of identity, so that deeply buried fears and prejudices rose to the surface. McCoy suspects Kirk of seducing anyone male within range, labels this sinful and pronounces this very sinfulness as the cause of their failure to get home to their proper time. The novel calls these bouts "psychic attacks" which would mean that a purposeful entity was responsible for McCoy's uncharacteristic bigotry, but St. Germain and Donovan provide no evidence for the existence of any such being. So I suggest that the implication of all this ranting is that a fundamentalist preacher is buried in McCoy's unconscious. Perhaps so, but I for one was glad to see this ghost of Falwell reinterred.
When McCoy is negative the K/S relationship is in danger of being ripped apart by all the internal and external pressures described above when I discussed the stories where McCoy is supportive. It is McCoy who is there for them in a crisis. He is their rock, the trustworthy foundation without which their love may not survive. Nothing can substitute for the real McCoy.