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Changeling = gay?Edit
It seems obvious to me that this episode is supposed to have parallels between changeling identity and gay indentity. If anything can be dug to confirm that, perhaps it should be included in background information.
- First, it's my understanding that there's no offical confirmation of that being the writers' intent, and second, it's a stretch to make that connection. Laas' entire argument is based on Changelings being fundamentally and completely different from "monoforms", which is not in line with how homosexuals would want to be preceived. Nanodrip 03:58, 12 Dec 2005 (UTC)
Moreover, considering that Changelings can be almost anything, it would probably be obvious that they have no native gender whatsoever.
--Ihmhi 20:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
We don't understand anything at all about how changelings reproduce, however we do know that they have a genetic makeup as they have modified it in their offspring. I don't feel we can make any claims about gender.–
In addition I would like to point out what I think about the gender of the humanoid forms the changelings choose. In Odo's case, he has chosen to imitate the Bajoran doctor who first studied him, in this case, a male. Odo chooses to use this form in order to continue interacting with his monoform peers. In the case of the 'female changeling', it is my belief that the limited form she takes when appearing to Odo, is adapted to his own stunted shapeshifting capabilities, and is chosen to provide a female counterpart to Odo. She actually keeps this shape even when in the presence of Weyoun and several Jem-Hadar, even though there is no need to keep this specific shape, a form she may in fact, have grown a certain afinity for. It is the form she corrects (glosses over, in a way) to hide the signs of the morphogenic virus. In this sense, she has chosen and kept a certain identity. As for Laas, his long life experience with the Valarans may have forced him into the role of a male, as mate to his Valaran wife/lover. Though he encounters Odo and chief O'Brien as a space-faring creature, he quickly falls back into his recognizable Valaran form, one he is accustomed to. With this form also comes his known persona, easy for the others (in particular the viewer) to recognize.
About changeling gender persona-adaptation and linking. Odo himself seems to prefer a certain privacy (hinting at the vaguely sexual nature of linking) and Kira's own reaction to learning he has linked with Laas is at best uneasy. I disagree. Being private is being private - not sexual.
It may be that Kira is unsure if she should consider it having been cheated on yet at the same time rationalizing that the link is only a form of communication. Her reaction also must have a profound effect on Odo's own view of linking. As for Laas, who seems to greatly enjoy the switching between forms, his view of linking is considerably more casual than Odo's. He is ready to link anywhere at any time, whereas Odo has a more reserved stance.
It is also interesting to note the different behaviours and attitudes of changelings who have lived in environments. Odo, who has lived all his life (30 years?) with humanoids, clings to their gender-defined societal tenets. Laas, on the other hand, only spent a portion of his early life with humanoids and has since then treated the man/woman concept with apparent indifference.
In conclusion, it is easy to see that from the start the changelings have no initial gender, but may be pliant to fitting themselves into the molds of the different societies they enocunter. Following this, there may be a certain tension between two changelings about to link, and this regardless of gender. Social taboos may imprint themselves even on those easily considered to be outsiders.
--Braindance 02:00, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I think a major theme of this episode is that of tolerance and acceptance. A debate in American culture is that of the Melting Pot vs Multiculturalism--whether new cultures should blend into American culture or retain a separate identity. This debate seems to present itself in this episode through the characters of Odo (melting pot) and Laas (multiculturalism), though to some radical extremes.
Laas expresses his opinion to Odo that "solids" only tolerate them because they assume a similar form. But ultimately, their differences (appearance, abilities, procreation, etc) prevent them from being able to fully assimilate into the world of the "solids". Unfortunately for Laas, his experience leads him to believe that "solids" will never accept them and the only solution is isolation.
Odo advocates the "melting pot" philosophy, attempting to appear as human as physically possible. He chooses to avoid bringing attention to any of the differences between him and the "solids". He goes to the extreme of only assuming a humanoid form in the presence of others.
Other characters make comments Odo's behavior and willingness to adapt to humanoid existance in contrast to Laas. At one point, Quark explains the humanoid instinct--fear of anything that's different. Many of the station residents expresses dislike for Laas being "fog" in public, despite the fact his behavior causes no physical harm. The most direct commentary on this subject is Laas--"They tolerate you because you emulate them".
Many of these concepts have similarity to the issues being faces in American culture with regard to immigration, race relations, etc. Should immigrants retain their culture (food, clothing, language) or should they adopt American culture? Can tolerance over come prejudice? Should we accept differences in other cultures or integrate those differences into our own?
--Cellulose 2 October 2007 (UTC)
- Unless this is going to lead to a change in the article, this isn't really the place for personal commentary on an episode. --OuroborosCobra talk 04:39, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
- Ive always thought this ever since the first time the episode aired, I thought it was effectively subtle and well done. 22.214.171.124 20:20, November 5, 2011 (UTC)
- This is the second of two times after the discovery of the Dominion that Odo is referred to as a "shapeshifter" instead of a Changeling, following Damar's use in "Treachery, Faith and the Great River". Odo asks Laas "You've never met another shapeshifter?"
The above was added to the article, but I'm wondering if this is a significant enough bit of information to include in the episode pages. It could be noted at the shapeshifter article, perhaps.--31dot 17:56, October 28, 2010 (UTC)
- I added that largely because the page for "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" claimed that Damar's use there was the only use of the term after the discovery of the Dominion. So I was simply correcting that error. If people feel it is irrelevant - certainly, I'm not a very active editing member here - I have no objection to it being removed from both pages. --Anthony 18:13, October 29, 2010 (UTC)