Star Trek is about to introduce its first ever openly transgender, and non-binary characters.
In keeping with modern shifts to a more ‘inclusive’ society, the show will debut both characters in its upcoming U.S. TV series next month.
The transgender character will be named Gray and is to be played by a real life transgender actor, 19-year-old Vietnamese-American, Ian Alexander from Salt Lake City in Utah.
The non-binary character meanwhile will be called Adira, and is to star Blu del Barrio, an actor of Argentinian descent and former student at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. The actor identifies as non-binary in their private life.
In a statement released to the media, Michelle Paradise, executive producer of the show said “‘Star Trek’ has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities.”
“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,” she added.
In recent years the show has starred the first married same sex couple in Starfleet, in addition to the first Black female (Shonequa Martin-Green – pictured above) to lead a series, as part of their appeal to the demographics of modern-day America.
Anthony Rapp, as one of the current show’s two openly gay characters said on social media: “I cannot wait for you all to meet these beautiful souls and wonderful artists,” adding “I am so so so proud of them and happy that they are a part of our show”.
Speaking to the media after being given the role as the first non-binary character in Starfleet, 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 non-binary, so when this happened, it felt like the universe saying ‘go ahead'”.