- Ta-Nehisi Coates dismantles Mitch McConnell’s anti-reparations argument Wednesday 7:52 PM
- Whoopi Goldberg stirs debate over her opinion regarding Bella Thorne’s nudes Wednesday 7:04 PM
- Joe Biden really, really hates raves Wednesday 6:02 PM
- RIP to the Twitter geotagging feature that no one actually used Wednesday 5:14 PM
- Facebook contractors reveal the horrors of moderating graphic content Wednesday 4:42 PM
- Prosecutor almost directly quoted Bible in trial against man who helped migrants Wednesday 4:05 PM
- TikTok’s time warp videos get it twisted Wednesday 4:03 PM
- Is a ‘Stranger Things’ and Fortnite crossover event going to happen? Wednesday 3:55 PM
- YouTube reportedly thinking about moving all kids content off the main site Wednesday 3:50 PM
- AOC calls out Democrats for tone-deaf Beyoncé tweet Wednesday 3:15 PM
- Democrat candidates come out as ‘wife guys’ Wednesday 2:45 PM
- Poll of best Batman actors fails to include Adam West, and fans are not happy Wednesday 2:25 PM
- ‘Pose’ producer Janet Mock lands historic Netflix deal Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Teen confesses to killing her best friend on video to get $9 million from a stranger online Wednesday 1:28 PM
- Democrats vote to block transgender troop ban Wednesday 12:17 PM
According to ‘Star Trek Beyond,’ the helmsman of the Starship Enterprise is canonically gay.
Sulu was originally played by George Takei, who in later life has become a prominent activist for LGBT rights. In a tribute to his ongoing legacy as an icon of the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Beyond writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin decided make Sulu canonically gay in the upcoming movie.
“I liked [Pegg and Lin’s] approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” Cho said.
While Hollywood still has a long way to go in terms of queer representation, it feels appropriate for Star Trek to be the first big sci-fi franchise to include a gay character in its main cast. Beginning with its diverse casting and powerful political allegories of the 1960s series, Star Trek has always presented an optimistic and progressive view of the future.
With Hikaru Sulu, Star Trek Beyond is setting a couple of important precedents. First of all, this revelation makes it clear that long-established characters (like, for example, superheroes) do not have to follow the “assumed straight” sexual mores of the period in which they were created. Secondly, Sulu paves the way for more queer characters in Star Trek‘s future—and we’re certain to see this happen in Bryan Fuller‘s new TV series next year.
BONUS: I watched ’60s Trek for the first time, and it was awesome
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor