After all these years its has finally happened.
On a promotional trip to Sydney, Australia it has been announced that Helmsman of the USS Enterprise, Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho, in the upcoming movie Star Trek Beyond is gay and also loving father of a daughter with a same sex partner.
Cho visited Sydney to promote the third movie in the franchise rebooted by JJ Abrams in 2009, along with cast mates Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr McCoy) and director Justin Lin. He said the decision by writer Simon Pegg and Lin to make Sulu gay was a nod to George Takei, who played the character in the original 1960s series, and was a sign of what he hoped were changing times.
“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,” said Cho.
In an interview in 2015 George Takei revealed he once asked Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry why the original TV series didn’t feature LGBT characters. And [Roddenberry] said, ‘I’m treading a fine tight wire here. I’m dealing with issues of the time. I’m dealing with the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and I need to be able to make that statement by staying on the air.’ He said, ‘If I dealt with that issue I wouldn’t be able to deal with any issue because I would be canceled.’”
The closest any other Star Trek gas come to a male gay character was when “First Contact” was being produced in 1996, musings about the purportedly gay bridge officer Lt. Hawk set off a self-sustaining process, with new rumors cropping up every few days, even in mainstream print media. But Hawk ended up as a Star Trek default character who, as Rick Berman himself stated, is not supposed to be gay. Lt. Hawk was established as gay in the novel Section 31: Rogue.
Thank you Star Trek for boldly going where others have gone before. But we do thank you for finally arriving.