Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp, set to portray space-fungus expert Lt. Stamets in the upcoming series, spoke with Metro Weekly in a new interview today about his thoughts on portraying one of the first regular in-universe gay character in the Trek franchise.
METRO WEEKLY: I don’t know what you can say about it, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up Star Trek: Discovery.
RAPP: I can say that I’m in it, and that I’m really excited about it. I pretty much am not allowed to say anything else. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say that. It’s so profoundly under wraps, which I completely understand and actually endorse. But I’m really excited.
MW: It’s been reported that the character you’re playing is gay.
RAPP: Yeah. Anything that’s been reported in the press, and has officially been confirmed by CBS, I can say.
MW: How does it feel, from a perspective of a gay man, to be playing the first ongoing gay character in Star Trek, Sulu’s recent revelation in the films notwithstanding?
RAPP: I’m honored. I’m also honored to be a part of a piece of work that’s part of the cultural pantheon. It’s kind of crazy that I get to be a part of something that means so much to so many people. It meant a lot to me, too. I’m thrilled and I’m honored to be the vehicle for this aspect of the story that’s being told.
Stamets is not Trek’s overall first gay regular character, as John Cho’s version of Hikaru Sulu was revealed to have a husband and daughter in last year’s Star Trek Beyond, and of course LGBT themes have been touched upon in episodes such as TNG’s “The Outcast” and DS9’s “Rejoined”.
You can read the full interview with Rapp, which also touches upon his early acting career and current non-Discovery projects, at Metro Weekly.