Kirk/Spock controversy

The idea of a romantic relationship between Kirk and Spock was controversial from the beginning.


In The Inter-Relationships of "Enterprise" Crew Members, published 1973-08 in Star Trek Action Group #3, Jenny Elson made an assertion:

On Vulcan, to a Vulcan, he could openly express what he feels, for another Vulcan would understand. But Kirk, a Terran, would not, and therefore Spock must keep to himself the knowledge deep within him: that he is actively and logically in love with James Kirk, captain of the "Enterprise."

In the following issue, many people wrote in either to support or rebut this claim:


Spock being in love with Kirk... That's stupid and ridiculous! Let's keep the Star Trek Party clean, please! It's Science Fiction and far away places in deep space we're interested in. If I were you, I'd keep that OUT of any further newsletters you do. Homosexuality is OUT. Man was made for woman.

(Ed. note... Except that Spock ain't Man, he's Vulcan.)


Loved your article about the relationships of the crew-members. That Spock is in love with Kirk is a beautiful idea... note the way he often looks at Kirk; risks his own life to save him, and, in Amok Time, the dreadful expression on his face when he thinks that his friend is dead.


I've thought of that before... (Spock being in love with Kirk,) but I've never had the courage to mention it until now....


My daughter and I thought that Spock being in love with Kirk was a lovely idea... but be careful, people in the States might be offended by the idea.


Loved your run-down on Sickbay. I found it most amusing, and it does have some good points. Why no loos indeed? And when do they ever take a bath, I wonder? Do they just bung themselves under a chemical spray?


I resist the temptation that Spock is in love with Kirk. Ugh! But on the other hand, I guess it's true in a way. It disturbed me greatly at first, but I see now that you may have a point, remembering the Vulcan nature.... I'm very glad to hear there's nothing physical in it, that's a relief! I must admit that I was repulsed until I looked at it from another angle; then it didn't seem so bad.


Must disagree with you about Spock and Kirk. Please give Kirk some credit for trying to understand Spock. Also, what about Spock's human half.. he has got one, and it's this which gives him the capacity for understanding humans. A Vulcan is supposed to have no emotions, but what about pride? Spock is proud of being Vulcan, but not proud of being half human. Why doesn't he try to communicate to Kirk just how he feels.. he just might get a surprise. Just what do you mean by saying that Spock is actively and logically in love with Kirk? There is nothing logical about love; in fact it's the most illogical of human emotions and there you have a discrepancy, unless you mean that it's his human half, which would make him slightly funny. (Queer, not ha ha) and that is not Spock.

And more letters in the next issue:

Chris Gormley: A lot of people seem to have one-track minds! If you had said that Spock loved his mother, no-one would have bothered. It's about time everyone realised all the different kinds of love that can exist.

Karen Gilmurray: You certainly caused a stir with your Kirk/Spock relationship. It's an interesting idea, and when you think of what Spock does on occasions, quite possible.

Ann Wigmore: What I understand by Spock being in love with Kirk is a full and complete evaluation of the Captain's character in relation to Spock himself. Spock is able to relate to Kirk, unconsciously bestowing the emotions he is unable to express to his father onto the captain. That is my opinion of the strange and beautiful relationship between Kirk and Spock.

Pat Jenkins: I don't think a man has to be Vulcan to love another man... and I don't mean a sexual love.

Kay Houston: So many episodes prove this love. "No greater love has any man than he lay down his life for his friend."

And yet more letters in the next issue:

Carol Smith: I really felt I had to say something on the relationship article. Why do people have to bring sex into every relationship? Haven't they heard of true devotion, friendship and trust? Has sex become such a part of our society that we cannot think of anything without including it?

Judy Baily: In some languages there is more than one word for Love, depending on the type of love spoken about. This is logical. The love of God is different to a man/wife relationship, and another word is needed for the love of one person to another, as intended in the statement that Spock loved Kirk