‘Discovery’ Will Include Star Trek’s First Openly Gay Couple On TV

Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz to play Star Trek’s first openly gay couple on television

For the first time in Star Trek television history, the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery will feature an openly gay male couple. This decision by the showrunners continues Star Trek‘s tenet of an inclusive crew.

At the Discovery panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, actor Anthony Rapp, who plays science officer Lt. Paul Stamets on the series, announced that his character will have a male partner, Dr. Hugh Culber. Culber is played by actor Wilson Cruz. Both actors are openly gay.

“I play the first openly gay character in the history of TV Star Trek,” said Rapp at the Comic-Con panel. “I’m very proud of that and he’s a scientist.”

The only other openly gay character in Star Trek was seen in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, where it was revealed that Lt. Sulu (John Cho) was gay.

George Takei, the original Lt. Sulu on Star Trek and LGBT activist, offered his own thoughts on the announcement.

“Thrilled to hear that #StarTrekDiscovery will feature an openly gay couple played by @ablinokid and @wruz73. How far we’ve come.” Takei said on Twitter.

Cruz’s announcement rounds out Star Trek: Discovery‘s diverse cast, including Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) Jason Isaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Doug Jones (Lt. Saru), James Frain(Sarek), and Shazad Latif (Kol), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Stamets), Sam Vartholomeos (Ensign Connor), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Tilly), Mary Chieffo (L’Rell) and Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd).

A new trailer was released for Discovery at the panel as well. The show’s 15-episode first season will premiere on September 24 at 8:30 PM ET on CBS. Immediately following the first episode’s release, the second episode will be available on CBS All Access, with subsequent episodes released on Sundays. The first eight episodes will run from September 24 through November 5, with the series returning in January 2018.

More Star Trek News From San Diego Comic-Con 2017

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Kyle Hadyniak has been a lifelong Star Trek fan. A graduate student at the University of Maine, Kyle spends his time either doing school work, playing music, reading history, or immersing himself in a good video game.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter @khady93.

22 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Talos4

    In recent years television science fiction has more than made up for lost time in turning the genre into an endless attempt to normalize and celebrate sodomy. (Print science fiction has been that way for many years.) In addition to Star Trek, there’s Doctor Who, Orphan Black, Killjoys, Dark Matter, and of course all the Greg Berlanti superhero shows on The CW. The makers of such shows actually believe this is a continuation of the civil rights movement of the sixties, but equating being black with engaging in gay sex is odious.

    • Who said anything about sex?

      Why are people so keen on equating romantic relationships with specific ways of having sex? It’s fair enough having an interest in sex, but there’s no need to make *everything* all about sex.

      • siylencedogood

        It’s implied by the very nature of homosexuality. Homosexuality is the physical act of having sexual relations with the same sex. A man can love a man without it being homosexuality, but a man cannot have sex with a man without it being homosexuality.

        • I dispute your definition, but even if we accept it:

          Where has anyone from CBS said that any of the characters are homosexual? They’ve only been described as “gay”, which is universally used to describe people’s genders with reference to romance.

          I mean, if you want to spend your time thinking about sex, fine, but then you can’t complain when you see sex in everything.

          • siylencedogood

            ho·mo·sex·u·al
            ˌhōməˈsekSH(o͞o)əl/Submit
            noun
            1. a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.
            synonyms: gay, lesbian; More

            Homosexuality
            1. sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex.

          • It seems to me that CBS have been using the word “gay” to mean that these 2 men are in a romantic relationship. You can argue that CBS’s use of English is imprecise according to the definition you’ve presented; I think it’s likely that CBS weren’t aware of this particular definition, or they were simply not using that definition. Meanings of words change. (For example a person might call themself both gay and asexual, if they are romantically attracted to people of the same gender, but have no interest in sex.)

            But hey, if you want to talk pedantry, let’s do it. By your definition, “gay” is a synonym for “homosexual”, which is “a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.” It is *not* defined as “a person who does a specific sex act with persons of their own sex”. Homosexuality is a “desire or behaviour”, not *necessarily* a behaviour.

            All CBS have told you about these characters, by your definition, is that they are in a relationship, and that they are sexually attracted to men. No mention of doing, promoting or celebrating sex acts.

            You are welcome to believe that the promotion for this show has involved many mentions of sex, even though sex has not been directly mentioned. You are welcome to believe that the programme itself will involve many mentions or descriptions of sex. Believing that will not make it so. You are also very welcome to avoid watching the show if you don’t want to.

            But it’s illogical to suggest that CBS are promoting a sex act.

          • siylencedogood

            I think it’s rationalizing that being in a homosexual relationship doesn’t imply the physical sex act. If a heterosexual person states they are in a relationship it is implied that they are engaged in physical acts that reflect the relationship, unless they are specifically being abstinent until marriage. Familial and simple friendships do not imply sexual acts nor does an overtly abstinent relationship due to religious faith or some other compact, but CBS never once mentioned abstinence. It could happen, but I doubt it.

    • ZOD

      Odious sodomites? Dude, you’re OG intolerant.

      • Talos4

        To be accurate, I called equating the two odious. You are misrepresenting what I said. Also, I’d hardly call merely having an opinion about this subject “OG intolerant.”

        • ZOD

          I’d call it paraphrasing, but whatever. Look, if Star Trek has anal sex themed episodes I’ll be unhappy too — straight or gay. That’s not what the show is about. Including a gay couple on the show is hardly that. If you think so, that’s your own personal hang up. Now I’m not saying that gay characters have to be chaste either. I’m just saying that their sexuality should be treated like most characters. Maybe Kirk liked oral sex & taking a random finger or two. We’ll never know because it’s not relevant. FWIW, comparing any race to a specific sex act is creepy. Luckily Star Trek hasn’t and almost certainly won’t ever do anything like that.

  • Eric Laranjo

    I am not a supporter of the LGBTQ agenda. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, and I do not believe in gender fluidity. So I will give the new show a chance, but if it ends up being propaganda for the LDBTQ agenda, then I have 5 other series and 13 movies that I enjoy watching over and over. I just FYI, I have never been diagnosed with any phobias.

  • JB

    I don’t recall there being this much intentional pandering in previous Star Trek series. STD seems very focused on identity and props. The focus on story is questionable. Its interest its setting is arguably worse still.

    • Seriously? TOS was pretty much entirely pandering to straight white men. They had like 2 main characters who weren’t a straight white man.

      • JB

        Pandering and casting aren’t the same thing. The closest thing I can think of is STV and the first female Captain. I don’t remember Rick Berman trotting out Avery Brooks and then a few months later Alexander Siddig like “behold, a black guy and an Arab,” respectively, and then pretending like that was going to make me more interested in the show. They were just people, and I thought of them as just people. Now everyone is a token. The production team seems to be guilty of all the -isms Star Trek is supposed to be against.

        Even if my people have never been “represented” in Star Trek, I’ve always loved the show. It never even occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t, but I don’t think Star Trek was ever supposed to be about asking where is my pound of flesh?

        • There was a bit of “OMG a Russian! and a Japanese!” with TOS, but I take your point. They shouldn’t be saying “Hey guys! Wow! Look at us! We hired a black woman!”

          In fairness, I don’t think I’ve seen CBS do this. I think it’s just the various press coverage around it. For those for whom it’s a big deal, OK fair enough, it’s a big deal.

          I think we’ll see less of this now that we’re starting to learn more about these characters beyond their (and their actors’) basic identity. I’m hoping that “adopted by Vulcans” is far more interesting than “black woman”.

  • pixelstuff

    Well here’s to hoping they don’t draw attention to it at any point in the show. That T’Pol & Tripp side show was just annoying.

  • Can we all either stop saying “openly gay” or (perhaps more entertaining) start describing Picard as “openly French”?

    Frankly, a same-sex couple is hardly medal-winning diversity. Why is nobody genderqueer in the utopian future? – except for Riker’s scandalously-gendered love interest from that genderless species, who eventually went through with conversion therapy? Why are there no trans people? (Trill joining doesn’t count: that’s “gender = body’s appearance” – very much not trans.) Why are the only bi people sadistic BDSM space station intendants from the mirror universe? Why not cast an actual real-life native American to play Chakotay?

    (My headcanon: the mirror universe is the one we live in. It’s got far more realistic amounts of war and idiocy, and in our real world bi people exist. In the main Star Trek universe bi people do not exist, which is why Sulu couldn’t possibly have been bi all along in both timelines.)

    Star Trek really shouldn’t be claiming to be a bastion of diversity. It hasn’t earned that, yet.

  • Alice

    Diversity and acceptance = the message of star trek since TOS
    the only difference is that it seems they’re actually living up to it now, and that it’s 2017

  • Mike Upton

    Well it’s good to see things in commercial television are cruising right along. Another Trek. No mention of science in the science fiction.
    But thank goodness they wheeled out this completely unknown and never discussed topic. And ofcourse, a story about a Starship full of space explorers is the perfect plot to showcase the characters ruminations on their fun sweaty parts set against the trials and difficulties of subjugation of the galaxy to accept the many variations of human genitalia thrust at all things animal, mineral and vegetable and comply with unquestioned acceptance and a big kiss.
    Certainly the design of the newest Enterprise will reflect a more acceptable configuration of being based on the architecture of a mosque.
    And maybe they will finally do something about that HATEFUL preamble.
    “To boldly go, where no Lesbian,Gay,Transgendered or self proclaimed
    Victim status minority has ever gone before.”
    And the evil threatening space monster empire will be really scarey! With the Trump tufts on their mellons and the ghastly white skin, oh shiver! The space monsters will be so awful, they will have no concern for the feelings of others and blatantly carry guns and have global warming bombs.
    This show is not SCIENCE FICTION. It’s a proudly displayed matter/anti-matter powered parable of the politically correct agenda. Comercial television’s sole purpose for exsistance at this point. This kind of.story being trotted out for approval by the chief kool-aidoliogists of the fatally misguied used to be funny. Now it’s just pathetic. The drum has been beaten loudly, the agenda is no longer relevant, your point has been made, it’s still flawed , and to wrap it in the well used funeral shroud of another Star Trek fiasco is ridiculous. At least by this galactic gay couple annoucement is a guarantee that the cancellation isn’t far behind.

  • daffy72

    They need to remake “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” for modern audiences…

    https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/memoryalpha/images/0/0b/Bele.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080809070725&path-prefix=en

    “You’re queer on one side and straight on the other.”
    “I am gay on the right side.”
    “I fail to see the significant difference.”
    “Lokai is straight on the right side. All of his people are straight on the right side.”

    • DN

      This

  • Anthony Alterbridge

    I am not in favor of watching gay people make out. It’s not my
    preference. I have watched other TV shows and they have gay couples
    too. In the end it hasn’t offended me, since that is not the focus of
    the show. What is amazing is how much focus Star Trek is putting on gay
    relationships. They took Sulu’s character and during the Kelvin
    timeline made him gay. Even George Takei didn’t think that was right,
    despite his desire to have gay characters involved in Star Trek.

    I
    planned on watching Discovery as I have with with all the other Cannon
    out there. Heck, I even watch the non-Cannon video’s (Star Trek
    Continues, and can’t wait for Axanar). I decided not to watch it since
    they are charging for it through CBS’ All Access, and because I feel
    like there’s too much attention put on the gay rights, as opposed to the
    real focus – Star Trek… the great stories told, the great characters
    (yes, they can be gay, just don’t go crazy. I’d expect the same for the
    heterosexual characters too). The ships, the whole evolution of
    technology, and science. Yes, civil rights were a focus of Star Trek,
    but notice it wasn’t shoved down everyone’s throats all the time.

    In
    the end it’s all about respect. I do not force my values on anyone
    else. I will share my values to those who want to hear about them. I
    believe everyone should respect each other, even if opinions are on the
    opposite side of the galaxy. I would hate to see Star Trek reduced to a
    political pawn of the writers in Hollywood. Write good stories,
    develop the characters, advance the technology, and Star Trek will
    thrive.