Continuing to boldly go where the franchise has never gone before, CBS All Acess has announced Star Trek: Discovery will add the first transgender and non-binary characters to the sci-fi stalwart.
ET reports that Ian Alexander, of The OA fame, will join the cast of Season 3 as Gray, a would-be Trill host. In the Star Trek universe, the Trill are a symbiotic species, always living in pairs. The humanoid form (played by Alexander) is the host for another, far older, form of alien life. The pair share memories and personality traits when united.
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Blu del Barrio will play the role of Adria, a hyper-intelligent non-binary teenager. Adria joins the crew of the Discovery after bonding with the ship’s resident gay couple, Hugh and Paul (played by Wilson Cruz & Anthony Rapp, respectively). Hugh and Paul already made history as the first on-screen gay couple in Star Trek canon. For del Barrio, Star Trek: Discovery will mark their acting debut.
Cruz shared his joy over the announcement, tweeting: “I couldn’t be more excited for or PROUD of these TWO new loves of my life if I tried. We are family! #lgbtq #representationmatters Love you so much!”
For CBS All Access, the addition of Alexander and del Barrio represents a pivotal moment not just for Star Trek, but for the streaming network as a whole. As such, the writers have consulted with Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation for GLAAD to create characters both compelling and authentic.
“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,” co-showrunner Michelle Paradise said in a statement. “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.”
Star Trek: Discovery returns for Season 3 on October 15.