The latest season of the TV series Star Trek: Discovery has recognised ‘Resistance is Futile’ by announcing the shows first non-binary and transgender characters, adding to the same-sex couple already in the franchise.
Star Trek Universe creator Gene Roddenberry originally had the vision of ‘celebrating diversity and inclusion’ and the show’s producers have committed to doing this with the third series of the show.
The first transgender Star Trek character is Gray, said to be “empathetic, warm and eager to fulfil his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.”
Nineteen-year-old Ian Alexander, who uses they/them and he/him pronouns, has taken on the role of Gray. He is best known for their role as Buck Vu on the Netflix series The OA and is the first out transgender Asian-American person to act on television.
The non-binary character is called Adira and is described as “highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years.”
Adira is played by non-binary actor Blu del Barrio who uses they/them pronouns. Del Barrio, who has been acting since the age of seven, was in their final year of studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when they auditioned for the role of Adira.
Speaking to LGBTQ+ media group GLAAD, Del Barrio said they knew they were different at eight years old, but there wasn’t one person who knew how to help them.
“Non-binary is an umbrella term for any identity that does not neatly fit into that binary,” Del Barrio said.
“Our societal norms surrounding gender have to change. Because non-binary people deserve to live in a world where they fit.”
“We live in a society built around a binary. Everything and I mean everything, is gendered. It’s either made for men or made for women.
“Non-binary is an umbrella term for any identity that does not neatly fit into that binary. Our societal norms surrounding gender have to change. Because non-binary people deserve to live in a world where they fit.”
Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producer Michelle Paradise said the series has also featured a prominent same-sex couple since its first season, namely Lt Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).
“Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because 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,” commented Paradise.
“We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.”
The third season of Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on 15 October in the US on CBS All Access. The first two seasons of the show are available on Netflix in Australia and New Zealand.