During Star Trek’s original run, helmsman Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei, now one of America’s best known LGBT activists after he came out in 2005. In the new movie, Star Trek Beyond, producers give a nod to Takei by making the character a proud gay man.
“I liked the 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 told the newspaper.
Click here to read George Takei’s bitter response to the news Sulu will be portrayed as gay: “It’s unfortunate.”
Star Trek notably showed the first interracial kiss on television back in the 60s, but there’s always been one notable missing piece from the show’s utopian view of a future society: LGBT people simply haven’t existed in the universe. While the show has made a few slight insinuations that some minor characters were gay or transgender, this is the first time any characters – major or minor – have been explicitly non-heterosexual.
Takei came out publicly after California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Takei’s Facebook page is one of the site’s most popular and regularly highlights LGBT issues.