‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Introduces Franchise’s First Non-Binary & Transgender Characters

Star Trek Discovery Blu del Barrio Ian Alexander Non-Binary Transgender Characters
Phil Sharp; Jake Akita

Star Trek: Discovery is going where no other series in the franchise has before. Season 3 will introduce Star Trek‘s first non-binary and transgender characters, Adira, played by Blu del Barrio (above left), and Gray, played by Ian Alexander, respectively.

Adira is described as “highly intelligent with a confidence and self-assurance well beyond their years.” In addition to finding a new home on the U.S.S. Discovery, they will “form an unexpected bond with Lt. Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz).” Gray is described as “empathetic, warm and eager to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a Trill host, but he will have to adapt when his life takes an unexpected turn.”


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,” co-showrunner and executive producer Michelle Paradise said in a statement. “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.”

Del Barrio was studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when they auditioned for Star Trek: Discovery, which will be their television acting debut. Alexander played Buck Vu on Netflix’s The OA, and he is the first out transgender Asian-American person to act on television.

Star Trek Discovery Crew Cast

Anthony Rapp as Stamets, Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou, Mary Wiseman as Tilly, and Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham (Michael Gibson/CBS)

Season 3 follows Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery after going through the wormhole to an unknown future. “Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must work together to restore hope to the Federation,” the logline teases.

In addition to Martin-Green, Rapp, and Cruz, the series stars Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker), and Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou).

The 13-episode Season 3 will premiere on October 15, with new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays on CBS All Access. Season 1 will be airing on CBS this fall, beginning Thursday, September 24 at 10/9c.

CBS All Access’ Star Trek franchise also includes Star Trek: PicardStar Trek: Lower Decks, the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (starring Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One, and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock), and a Section 31-based series in development with Yeoh. A CG-animated series for younger audiences, Star Trek: Prodigy, is in the works for Nickelodeon.

Star Trek: Discovery, Season 3  Premiere, Thursday, October 15, CBS All Access