I’ve been very vocal, on here and on Twitter, about the phenomenon that is gatekeeping in the Star Trek fandom. I do not believe that fans of the franchise can or should dictate who gets to qualify as a fan, on the basis of whether or not they like a particular element of the franchise. The insinuation that Discovery is not Star Trek (or not ‘true’ Trek) is but one subtle means of implying fans of DSC aren’t really Star Trek fans (why else would anyone use the prefix ‘true’?). The expression carries quasi-religious overtones, revealing the fanaticism of some corners of the fandom. After all, swap the expression ‘true’ Trek for ‘true’ Christianity or ‘true’ Islam and swap out ‘Trek’ for religious terms in some of the arguments made, and you have the arguments of extremists.
That being said, people are allowed to not like DSC. They can and should be free to criticise the show if they don’t like it. They should be free to do so without taking flak or heat for it. Shutting down a conversation because someone doesn’t like DSC is no different to the arrogance of the hater crowd treating fans of DSC like pariahs. I do not agree with some of the criticism that is directed at Discovery, but I am capable of enjoying the show and shrugging off the comments of others. Of course, if they direct criticism of Discovery along racist, sexist or bigoted lines, they’re demonstrating just how much they don’t understand the message and themes of Star Trek, and for that, I’ll gladly point out the error of their ways.
There are two things to take away from this post. One, do not be the arrogant sort who dictates who qualifies as a fan of something. Two, remember, unless the other person is being a racist, bigoted, sexist prick, that cuts both ways. People are allowed to like things, and people are allowed to dislike things, and both groups are allowed to speak as to why they like or dislike something, provided they are not attacking other people in the process.