I just got wind of something potentially very interesting indeed related to Star Trek Discovery. I still keep my ears open for news about the new Trek series, and was just now fascinated to come across a rumour that the new first officer is going to be male-to-female transgender. It’s just speculation for now, but a few days ago I raised my eyebrow upon hearing that the character will be female, yet will be called Michael. This has lead some to speculate that she will be trans. If so, I find it potentially fascinating. This is the sort of acceptance and tolerance we need to see, perhaps now more than ever.
Trek, of course, has always lead the way with this sort of thing. When Uhura was cast as a black person in the sixties, many people objected. Gene Roddenberry’s point was that, by the twenty-third century, the colour of a person’s skin won’t matter. The same principal obviously applies here, and while some doubtless will accuse Trek producers of trying to ram diversity down our throats, I certainly think that this is a step in the right direction. My only niggle is, as I wrote here, Geordie Laforge aside, we have never seen any characters with disabilities on Star Trek, so that is what I would like to see next.