Meet The First Openly-Gay ‘Star Trek’ Television Character

Where no man has gone before” is one of the most iconic phrases in Star Trek lore. Before the latest spin-off series even premieres, it’ll achieve several firsts. Talk about staying on brand 😉

Star Trek: Discovery is the first series developed specifically for CBS All Access. It also marks the first time in Star Trek history to have a female lead who is black (Sonequa Martin-Green). Her character, First Officer Michael Burnham, is the lead character of the series. It’s the first time in the franchise that a Captain didn’t helm the show.

That’s not all. Star Trek: Discovery will have the first openly-gay character in the franchise’s 51-year history. Rent alum Anthony Rapp gets the honor of playing the historic role. His character, LT Paul Stamets, is a Science Officer specializing in astromycology (the study of fungi in space). The character is inspired by a real-life mycologist of the same name. Rapp reveals that his story will explore more than his work duties, but also delve into his romantic life.

“I’m 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 Entertainment Weekly. “And you get to see his relationship. There was a little glimpse in Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod. 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.”

For more, head over to Entertainment Weekly.