Star Trek Has Its First Openly Gay Character

"I liked the approach."

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After 50 years, Star Trek has its first officially gay character. It has been confirmed that Hikaru Sulu, helmsman on the USS Enterprise, will be seen in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond with a male partner and a daughter.

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Actor John Cho has been promoting the film in Australia, and spoke to Melbourne's Herald Sun about the decision of director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg to downplay this aspect of Sulu's character. "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 politicise one's personal orientations," he said.

While Sulu is the first gay character in the long-running franchise, George Takei, who played him in the original series, is a prominent campaigner for gay rights.

Star Trek Beyond is set for release on July 22, 2016. It also stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, and the late Anton Yelchin. Earlier this month, the final trailer for the film was revealed, which features the new Rihanna song "Sledgehammer."

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