In 1996, it was said that Neal McDonough‘s character in Star Trek: First Contact, Lieutenant Hawk, was intended to be the first gay character in the series, but both producers and the actor deny it was ever planned.
Now it seems the Hikaru Sulu of the Kelvin Timeline will be revealed as gay in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. The Sydney Herald Sun (via Towleroad) reports that the character will be seen with both a daughter and a same-sex partner in the film. According to actor John Cho, the decision was made by director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg in honor of the first man to play the part, George Takei.
“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” added Cho. Of course, in some places, showing Sulu with in a same-sex relationship and a family unit could still be a revolutionary act.
In the original timeline, Sulu was presumed straight, though there is little evidence either way in either the original series or the first six Star Trek features. In the seventh film, Star Trek Generations, Sulu’s daughter, Demora, was revealed, but it is always possible he raised her with a same-sex partner.
Star Trek Beyond opens on July July 22nd.