Recent summer blockbusters have, in the lead up to their premieres, talked a big game about how progressive and inclusive their cast of characters are, only for the big moment in the film to be annoyingly underwhelming. Think of the big hullabaloo about gay characters in Power Rangers and Beauty and the Beast, and the resounding “that was it?” that followed after those movies came out. Star Trek Beyond was no different, as it touted an explicitly gay Lutentiant Sulu, though his relationship with his partner was so slight that you’d be forgiven if you missed it.
The upcoming Star Trek: Discovery TV show, however, won’t just be paying lip service to LGBT representation. Anthony Rapp, who will play the Discovery’s anastromycologist Lt. Stamets, says his character will be openly gay, and that the show will actually deal with what that means.
We already knew that Rapp’s character would be the first gay Star Trek character on TV, but the Rent actor elaborated on just what that means while speaking to Entertainment Weekly.
“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 the magazine, which reports that his character is in a relationship with another member of the ship’s crew.
“And you get to see his relationship. There was a little glimpse in Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod,” he continued, lightly shading the blockbuster. “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.”
Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS on September 24, 2017