Star Trek adds first trans and non-binary characters to its universe

Star Trek is warp-speeding to the future of LGBT+ representation by including its first trans and non-binary characters.

Both will appear in the new series of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access next month.

Trans actor Ian Alexander will play the trans character, Gray. Meanwhile actor Blu del Barrio, who doesn’t identify as male or female, will play non-binary character Adira.

Adria is ‘highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years’.

The character will form a bond with Lt Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). The pair made history as the franchise’s first openly gay characters.

Barrio said: ‘Adira is a wonderfully complex character. Mainly because of this duality they have within them: they’re astonishingly intelligent and yet they’re still a kid.

‘They experience their emotions at a heightened level, like most teenagers. That’s what makes them so fun to play.’

Barrio was just finishing drama school when they got the job. They said:

‘When I got the call that I’d been cast as Adira, I hadn’t yet told the majority of my friends and family that I was non-binary. So when this happened, it felt like the universe saying “go ahead”.’

Meanwhile trans character Gray is ‘empathetic, warm and eager to fulfil a lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn’.

Trans actor Alexander, 19, played Buck Vu on the Netflix sci-fi series The OA. CBS claims he is the first openly trans Asian-American actor to appear on TV.

‘A future without division’

Announcing the new characters, co-showrunner Michelle Paradise said the team had worked closely with Barrio, Alexander and LGBT+ charity GLAAD to create ‘the extraordinary characters’ and ‘bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.’

She added: ‘Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities.

‘It believes in showing people that a future without division on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is entirely within our reach.’

Meanwhile queer actor Anthony Rapp welcomed the new actors to the team.

He said on Twitter: ‘I cannot wait for you all to meet these beautiful souls and wonderful artists. I am so so so proud of them and happy that they are a part of our show.’

Star Trek: Discovery season three will premiere on 15 October on CBS All Access. The 13 episode season will then run weekly on Thursdays.


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