The third season of “Star Trek: Discovery,” set to premiere on Oct. 15, will introduce its first transgender and a nonbinary characters, according to CBS All Access.
In an announcement on StarTrek.com, showrunners said the trans character, Gray, will be played by trans actor Ian Alexander (“The OA,” “The Last of Us Part II”). A new nonbinary character, Adira, will also join the series and be portrayed by newcomer Blu del Barrio.
Gray is an unjoined Trill who is “eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn,” according to CBS. Adira is a young, confident officer who suffers from memory loss and forms a bond with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).
According to IMDb, Del Barrio was in their final year of studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when they auditioned for the role. They’ve been acting in theater since the age of seven.
“[Star Trek] 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,” Discovery executive producer Michelle Paradise said in the StarTrek.com announcement.
In an interview with GLAAD, del Barrio 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 nonbinary. I had only recently discovered the word and realized that it described how I’d felt for a long time.”
Welcome Blu del Barrio and @ianaIexander to the #StarTrekFamily! They will be playing Adira, Star Trek’s first non-binary character, and Gray, Star Trek’s first transgender character in #StarTrekDiscovery Season 3. Learn more about Blu in this @glaad Q&A: https://t.co/gd54tVl8p0 pic.twitter.com/WroJ32n7CpSeptember 2, 2020
“So when this happened, it felt like the universe saying ‘go ahead,’ they added. “So in a way, Adira’s story ends up mirroring mine.”
“I cannot wait for you all to meet these beautiful souls and wonderful artists,” Rapp said on Twitter.” I am so so so proud of them and happy that they are a part of our show.”
‘Star Trek’ has touched upon LGBTQ scene before, most notably the TNG episode “The Outcast” (S05, E17) and DS9’s Jadzia Dax. (Image credit: CBS)
CBS is also hosting “Star Trek” Day on Tuesday (Sept. 8) to celebrate 54 years since the show premiered with “The Original Series” episode “The Man Trap.” There will be a 24-hour live-stream of panels on CBS All Access, with guest stars from every series, including George Takai, Patrick Stewart, Robert Picardo, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Bakula, Alexander Siddig, Sonequa Martin-Green, the cast of “Lower Decks” and the cast of “Strange New Worlds.” And that’s an impressive line up.
“Star Trek: Discovery” season 3 consists of 13 episodes and premieres on Oct. 15. New episodes of “Star Trek: The Lower Decks” air on Thursdays on the subscription streaming service CBS All Access. Previous seasons of “Discovery” and “Star Trek: Picard” are currently available on CBS All Access, and Netflix and Amazon outside the U.S.
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