Some outstanding news from the final frontier: The new Star Trek, Discovery, will have a gay character. Well, it’s about darn time.
The news came out at a meeting of the Television Critics Association this week, and was breathlessly tweeted by reporters in attendance. Executive Producer Bryan Fuller, who is gay, told everyone in attendance that they’ll be revealing little bits of info as they go, with a more detailed release scheduled for October.
So to summarize, they’ve announced there will be a female lead, a lot of aliens, and that there will be a gay character. How gay? How prominent? That we don’t know.
He also revealed that there will be robots, so that’s fun. And it’ll take place in the era right before the original series, so the ships may look slightly blockier and the technology slightly more rudimentary than you’re used to seeing with Kirk and friends.
Despite being a very forward-thinking franchise, Star Trek has historically dropped the ball when it comes to queer content. They had a closeted actor playing Sulu, but that’s as far as the original went. Gene Roddenberry said that he wanted a gay character on The Next Generation, but it never materialized. Writer David Gerrold even wrote a script with gay characters with an allegory for HIV, but it got shot down by producers.
Eventually, that episode was produced by fans with Gerrold’s help.
So what little gay content Star Trek has had exists because gay people pushed for it. And it’s nice to see Bryan Fuller not only continuing that tradition, but pushing for more inclusion.