‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 3 welcomes trans & non-binary characters

For the first time in the series’ almost 50-year run, Star Trek will introduce transgender and non-binary characters in major roles with its next season.

Star Trek: Discovery brought the long-running sci-fi series’ first canonical LGBTIQ+ characters to the small screen with Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber, and the show’s third season will introduce two new characters from our rainbow family.

Gray, a transgender Trill, will be played by young trans actor Ian Alexander (The OA, The Last Of Us: Part II), while non-binary character Adira will be played by non-binary actor Blue Del Barrio. Superfans of the series may argue these are not the first trans and gender diverse characters in the Star Trek universe, but it will be the first time their identities are explicitly mentioned.

Speaking to GLAAD, Del Barrio gave a tease of who Adira might be, said their non-binary identity is pivotal in their character’s story arc.

“When we meet Adira, they’re suffering from memory loss. They remember nothing from their past, and very little about themself,” Del Barrio said.

“They know they’re non binary… but coming on to Discovery they’re cautious about sharing that information with anyone.”

Star Trek has a long history of bringing underrepresented people and stories to the world, casting people of colour and women in lead roles when other shows were excluding actors and characters from diverse backgrounds.

LGBTIQ+ representation is relatively new to the franchise, however, with the first introduction coming in 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond as Hikaru Sulu (George Takei/John Cho) was re-imagined as gay as part of a cinematic reboot.

Star Trek‘s most recent official spin-off, Picard, also brought more LGBTIQ+ stories to the screen, revealing veteran character Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) was also a member of the queer community.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 debuts on Thursday 15th October.

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