Star Trek: Discovery will make franchise history with its upcoming third season, by way of the Star Trek universe’s first-ever transgender and non-binary characters.
TVLine has learned that Ian Alexander, an actor who uses they/them and he/him pronouns (pictured above, right), has been cast in the recurring guest star role of a transgender character named Gray. Described as empathetic and warm, Gray is eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.
Blu del Barrio, a non-binary actor who uses they/them pronouns, meanwhile will fill the recurring guest star role of Adira, a highly intelligent character with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years. After finding a new home on the U.S.S. Discovery, Adira forms an unexpected bond with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).
“Star Trek has always made a mission of giving visibility to underrepresented communities because 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,” said Michelle Paradise, co-showrunner and executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery. “We take pride in working closely with Blu del Barrio, Ian Alexander and Nick Adams at GLAAD to create the extraordinary characters of Adira and Gray, and bring their stories to life with empathy, understanding, empowerment and joy.”
Star Trek: Discovery will mark del Barrio’s screen acting debut following their studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Alexander, who is also the first out transgender Asian-American person to act on television, previously appeared on the Netflix fantasy drama The OA in the role of Buck Vu.
The third season of Star Trek: Discovery premieres Thursday, Oct. 15 on CBS All Access, with new episodes rolling out each week. Season 1, meanwhile, will begin airing on CBS proper later this month as the network buys time until its original scripted series can return.