"Live Long and Prosper" has always been a part of my lexicon, thanks to Leonard Nimoy, whose role as an actor playing the Vulcan/Human crossbreed was a pivotal three-year stage in his life and a major identity crisis. Star Trek The Original Series wasn't such a huge hit at the time, but gathered momentum with an unprecedented fanbase, a diverse group of people looking for belonging and finding solidarity at conventions. Finding himself typecast as Spock was a struggle initially for Nimoy, but he came to acknowledge the impact the humanistic foundation of the show had on people, and the immense role that the character of Spock had in this; he himself had brought so much of the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of Spock to the character, and he came to embrace that rather then refuse it after seeing the good it was doing and after accepting the odd path he found himself on. The iconic hand gesture, based in the feminine aspect of spiritual Judaism, the nature of being an outcast wherever you go because of innate difference, the traits of Spock and what he displayed for us as children growing up in a more and more complex society struggling with diversity and new-found freedoms stood as models for the possible, as so much of quality science fiction does. Leonard Nimoy went on to have an incredibly broad and multivalenced creative career, exploring all the aspects of himself that he wanted to, and all of his projects somehow tied to these initial tenets. Many of us were shaped by him-as-Spock and, as an artist so embroiled in his work, he will be remembered and honoured for being true to himself and being a model for us because of that.
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