My upbringing was nontraditional, to say the least. Orphaned at childbirth, after a dragon named Ridley slaughtered my parents, I was brought up on the planet Zebes by an alien race known as the Chozo. Half-bird and half-human, my Chozo surrogates taught me that gender, relationships and sexuality do not follow rigid rules. “Women are warriors,” my Chozo parents would squawk as they trained me for battle, “Now go practice your ice beam on the Metroids in the basement.” The Galactic Federation hired me as a bounty hunter to eradicate the Mother Brain. I kept my femininity a secret, hidden under the bulk of my Power Suit. While it felt liberating to reveal my true self to the universe after completing my first mission twenty years ago, there is something else I have been hiding: I am a lesbian.

Why have I kept this a secret for so long? That’s hard for me to say. The nature of my work forces me to silence. Working as mercenary, it’s far better to let my arm-cannon do the talking. Plus, the way I chose to express myself tended towards the unorthodox. I wrote a book of poems entitled Morphing Inside My Varia Suit, which failed to find a publisher. I would flit between one relationship and another, hopping inside my gunship and speeding off to the next planet before things got too serious. Then the Mother Brain decided to outlaw same-sex marriage on planet SR-388. Planets Tallon IV, Aether and my birth planet K-2L followed suit. What year are we living in? Earth Year 2009? It’s time for the universe to redefine its narrow concept of marriage.

The matter is being taken to the Supreme Council of the Galactic Federation, the highest court in the galaxy, for a decision in a few months. While I’m generally in favor of bold measures, this is the wrong way to approach the issue. I am calling for fellow gay rights advocates to take an incrementalist approach, beginning with small yet important steps, which I call Morph Laws. This trio of measures will set the stage for equal-rights amongst all homosexual species.

Morph Law A:
Create a Distinction Between Religious
and Civil Marriage

Religion has shaped the institution of marriage. Some of the more prominent religions say that it must be between a man and woman. Yet other religions, such as Ancient Bryyonian, Luminoth and Alimbic, believe that individuals should be free to marry those of their own sex, even outside their species. Under our Constitution, the Galactic Federation has no interest in preferring one religion to the other. One of my Chozo guardians, a wise sage named Gray Voice, said, “Beliefs do not fade away.” This is why we must separate civil unions from religious ones, with a future amendment granting union to an asexual creature that divides and wishes to marry its other self.

Morph Law B:
Extend Hospital Visitation
Rights to Gay Partners

One of the benefits of civil unions would be hospital access, a human rights policy not in place at many of our galaxies’ sickbays. I have never told this story until now, but a female lover and I were on an interplanetary cruise ship when a Metroid that had been hiding above a ceiling fan descended on her head and drained her life energy in a matter of seconds. I rushed her to the infirmary, where nurses and doctors attempted to freeze the Metroid with an ice beam and fire missiles at it five times. At least that’s what they told me. I wasn’t allowed to see her. Moments later I was informed she was dead. Can an argument be made against this basic human privilege? I’ll never see my partner again—the Metroid guaranteed that—but the hospital was just as guilty.

Morph Law C:
Repeal the Federation Police’s
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy

The most recent federal law to address a same-sex issue occurred in Earth Year 1996, when the Galactic Federation (then called the U.S. Government) enacted the Defense of Marriage Act. In a way, this measure was my ticket into the military. I didn’t shower in the women’s barracks. I spoke little to my fellow officers. I could kill energy-sucking Metroids and secretly remain a lesbian. Now I realize this law is another way for the government to discriminate against people like me. Just for writing this piece, I risk never getting any more mercenary assignments. But there’s an old saying in the Federation − if you’re trying to kill a Space Pirate, the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters. It’s time for our leaders to stop making them.

These three laws, passed on a planet-by-planet level, carefully steering clear of the conservative Supreme Council, would lead to victory. Before Phazon purchased by North Korea destroyed the Earth, Internet logs reveal that they passed state laws to lift the ban on gay marriage. There’s hope for our planets. Marriage is for the multiplayer. Man and man, woman and woman, or man and woman. Two beings united by love. Who are we to stop that? I expressed this dynamic best in one of my poems, “United with Myself.” I wrote: “I am a woman, yet I am machine / I am a Zebesian, Chozoian. / I am a lesbian.”