'Star Trek: Discovery' To Introduce First Non-Binary & Transgender Characters

by Outsiders
September 02, 2020
CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, today announced that season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will introduce the “Star Trek” franchise’s first non-binary and transgender characters, furthering the “Star Trek” universe’s ongoing commitment to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision of celebrating diversity and inclusion.

The “Star Trek” universe’s first non-binary character is Adira, played by Blu del Barrio. Adira is highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years. They will find a new home on the U.S.S. Discovery and form an unexpected bond with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz). The first transgender character is Gray, portrayed by Ian Alexander. Gray is empathetic, warm and eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.

“‘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,” said Michelle Paradise, co-showrunner and executive producer. “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.”

Blu del Barrio is a non-binary actor who uses they/them pronouns. Del Barrio was in their final year of studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when they auditioned for the role of Adira. Del Barrio has been acting in theater and short films since the age of 7, and they’re incredibly excited to make their television acting debut in season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY.

Ian Alexander is a 19-year-old actor who uses they/them and he/him pronouns. He is best known for his roles as Buck Vu on the Netflix series “The OA” and Lev in Naughty Dog’s video game “The Last of Us Part II.” They are the first out transgender Asian-American person to act on television. He is also an advocate for transgender equality, racial justice and mental health awareness for LGBTQ+ youth.

The third season of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will premiere on Thursday, Oct. 15. New episodes of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY’s 13-episode third season will be available on demand weekly on Thursdays, exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the United States.

After following Commander Burnham into the wormhole in the second season finale, season three of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY finds the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery landing in an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must work together to restore hope to the Federation.

Additional STAR TREK: DISCOVERY season three cast members include Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker) and Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou).

Seasons one and two of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY are available to stream now on CBS All Access, and the series is distributed concurrently by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave. The series is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment.

In addition to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, the “Star Trek” franchise on CBS All Access currently includes hit original series STAR TREK: PICARD; the animated comedy series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS, which has new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays; the recently announced U.S.S. Enterprise-set series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS, featuring Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck; and the development of a Section 31-based series with Michelle Yeoh. A CG-animated series aimed at younger audiences is also in the works for Nickelodeon, titled STAR TREK: PRODIGY.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
lordtom - 2020-09-03 @ 12:29 pm

They already did it. 

Also transgender-ism won't exist in the future, it just won't. Along with other brain anomalies. I don't want to sound insulting to the trans community but the fact is trans folk see someone completely different and feel different to the body they were born into. This is linked to both cranial and hormonal imbalances and "defects" (crass but just trying to be real). Therefore, in 200+ years if those issues still exist - along with cancers, disabilities etc. - then it would be a failure on humanity's part. But the reality is by the end of this century alone we would have likely eradicated so many health issues. Sexuality is different though. I suspect a much more fluid form of sexuality, unrestricted by archaic perceptions of societal norms.

I know it's an odd thing to focus on and that representation matters (for some reason) on the screen, but we're doing a disservice to humanity if we're saying this thing still exists 200+ years from now. Shiiiiyit, Picard wouldn't even be bald (unless by choice). 

 

Rant over

JayC - 2020-09-03 @ 12:20 am
15 minutes ago, Satam said:

They did. "The Outcast."  This is the first time non-binary and trans characters in Trek are played by non-binary and trans actors, but press releases sound more exciting with fewer qualifiers.

LOL, yeah.

Satam - 2020-09-03 @ 12:15 am
37 minutes ago, JayC said:

I gotta be honest, I am pretty sure they actually first did that in a TNG episode.

They did. "The Outcast."  This is the first time non-binary and trans characters in Trek are played by non-binary and trans actors, but press releases sound more exciting with fewer qualifiers.

JayC - 2020-09-02 @ 11:44 pm

I gotta be honest, I am pretty sure they actually first did that in a TNG episode.

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