CBS All Access has announced that the third season of Star Trek: Discovery will see the addition of a non-binary and transgender character to the crew of the USS Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

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According to Variety, the transgender character is “a trans man who has spent his life as a Trill planning to be a host for a symbiotic alien species that lives in different hosts over its lifetime,”. The character will also be played by trans actor Ian Alexander (Lev, The Last of Us Part II).

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

Related: Star Trek: Picard Producer Akiva Goldsman: “What’s Happening Culturally Right Now” Will Be Reflective In Season Two

Non-binary actor Blu Del Barrio, in their first on-screen acting role, will play Adira, “a non-binary character who bonds with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), the first same-sex couple in “Trek” TV series history.”

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

Related: After Plummeting Viewership Numbers, Star Trek Boss Alex Kurtzman Announces First Season Of Star Trek: Discovery Will Air On CBS In September

In a statement provided by Michelle Paradise, the co-showrunner and executive producer explained these two new additions to the cast, stating “‘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.”

The characters’ identities are set to be treated with respect, as Paradise said “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 Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

Related: Star Trek Boss Alex Kurtzman Explains What The Mission Of The Franchise Is

Many outlets have claimed that Alexander and Del Barrio will be portraying Star Trek’s ‘first transgender and non-binary characters’, but a glance at franchise history reveals that this may not be the case.

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Outcast, audiences are introduced to the J’naii, an alien race that has evolved beyond gender and exists as genderless, androgynous individuals.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

Related: Report: Star Trek: Picard Saw Massive Drop In Viewership by Season Finale!

While Star Trek has not had an outright transgender character, the J’naii can also be viewed as a commentary on the issues felt by the transgender community, as younger J’naii who gravitate toward a gendered identity are considered ‘sick’ and are ostracized from society.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 to Introduce Transgender and Non-Binary Characters

What do you think of this announcement by Star Trek Discovery? Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access for its third season on October 15th.

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    Spencer Baculi
    Associate Editor

    Spencer is the Associate Editor for Bounding Into Comics. An unabashed and life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and avid video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Wally West is the best Flash of all time. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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