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Yoshi Mishima

Cadet Yoshi Mishima and Cadet Matt Decker have been best friends for years, long before either of them entered the Academy. They hope to be assigned to the same training squad, but when they accidentally disrupted a Starfleet sting operation by trying to play heroes, Admiral Brand decided to split them up. Mishima became field leader of Nebula Squadron. Meanwhile, Matt was paired with the Ferengi cadet, Nog, in Omega Squadron. Yoshi became extremely jealous of Nog’s friendship with Matt, and was rather hostile to him on occassion.

When Omega Squadron was sentenced to death for violating a Federation quarantine, Yoshi organized public protests, gathering support from staff and students, demanding that Omega Squad be released. Superindenent Pradesh ignored the protests, and actually filed a reprimand in his permanent record. When it became clear that Pradesh was not going to listen to reason, Yoshi risked his career and his freedom by organizing a jail break and helping Omega Squad to escape. To prevent Yoshi from being implicated in their escape, Omega member Pava, knocked Yoshi out and left him behind.

Weeks later, after Omega Squad cleared their names and the charges were dropped, one of the squad was revealed to be a Romulan spy. She captured the entire squad and faked their deaths in order to escape. Yoshi and Nog were the only ones who did not give up on the Omega Squad, and they launched their own unauthorized rescue mission. Along the way, the two of them managed to resolve their differences and become friends. Yoshi and Nog were successful in rescuing Omega Squad, and picked up an alien woman, Halakith, who returned with them to enter Starfleet Academy.

Things were fine until Halakith learned that Yoshi has a boyfriend. Homosexuality is offensive to her culture, since they are a dying species and non-reproductive romance would not help their gene pool. She became quite insulting and refused to even share a room with Yoshi. Yoshi was outraged by her behaviour and tried to have her application to Starfleet denied on the basis that her prejudice had no place in an organization based on peaceful co-existance. Yoshi’s request was denied, and Halakith was not only admitted to the Academy, but was assigned to Yoshi’s squad. Matt tried to help the two of them find some common ground, and in the end, they agreed to look beyond thier differences and work together.

That was Yoshi’s final appearance in the series, since it was cancelled two issues later. It was never established exactly who Yoshi’s boyfriend was, but there were a few hints, most notably in issue #12 that Yoshi was romantically attracted to Matt. Matt’s sexuality was never established at any point during the series, so it is possible that he and Yoshi were lovers, but there is nothing to confirm that. Also, the gatefold covers that contained plot summaries and character bios said that Yoshi was Matt’s roommate at the Academy. This was never actually confirmed on panel.

Yoshi Mishima was the first ever openly homosexual human in the Star Trek Universe. He was portayed as a smart, brave, caring young man who was a capable leader, a skilled officer, and an effective fighter. I was sorry to see that the book was cancelled so soon after Yoshi was “outed”; I would have loved to have seen the character further developed.

Created by Chris Cooper and Chris Renaud Mishima first appeared in Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #1. Art by Chris Renaud, Andy Lanning, and Kevin Somers from Star Trek: Starfleet Academy # 12.

Gay writer Chris Cooper penned all 16 issues of the short lived Darkhold: Pages From the Book of Sin series. Cooper also founded the Queer Nation website, one of the first, if not the original, webcomic to feature LGBT superheroes. In 2020 Cooper was the target of a racist white woman while the two were in Central Park. Cooper recorded the woman calling 911 and claiming he was threatening her.

All rights reserved Paramount Pictures. Used without permission.

September 30, 2021
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