‘Star Trek: Discovery’ reveals franchise’s first openly gay character

Image: mashable composite: Courtesy of CBS Television Studios; Mike Coppola/getty

Star Trek: Discoveryis changing the game in many ways. And the upcoming television show is giving fans a first look at the franchise’s first openly gay character: Lt. Stamets.

Portrayed by Rent actor Anthony Rapp, Stamets will be the first openly gay character in Star Trek‘s 51-year television history, and Entertainment Weekly‘s latest issue gives fans a sneak peek at what’s in store.

Stamets will reportedly be playing a fungus expert, formally known as an anastromycologist, who’s crucial to the story. As the series delves deeper into the personal lives of its characters, viewers will also get to learn about Stamets’ romantic relationship with a crew member.

“Im really excited and happy when a gay character is a part of a story especially when a gay character is created in a complex and human and non-stereotypical, interesting way, and that has certainly been the case with Stamets,” Rapp told EW about his character.

“And you get to see his relationship. There was a little glimpse in Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod,” he said. “But in this case, we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated.”

“Were at a point in time where people arent defined by their sexuality,” Aaron Harberts, one of the series showrunners, told the publication.

“Hes so super specific, hes persnickety and difficult and brilliant, and he isnt going to give an inch and he has very strong feelings about why hes on the Discovery,” he added. “We wanted to roll out that characters sexuality the way people would roll out their sexuality in life.”

But Star Trek: Discovery isn’t just introducing representation for the LGBTQ community, it’s also the franchise’s first series to cast a black female lead. The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green will be playing First Officer Michael Burnham.

To learn more about the upcoming series read the full cover story. The revival is set to launch Sept. 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

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