“Star Trek” Airs First Gay Male Kiss In Franchise’s 50-Year History

"You can turn your TV off, sure, but you’ll only be cheating yourself."

Star Trek: Discovery is boldly going where no other Star Trek series has gone before.

The CBS space drama made history last month when it introduced Anthony Rapp’s character, Lt. Stamets, as the first openly gay character in the television history of the franchise. But the show took things a step further this week by featuring a same-sex kiss between Stamets and his partner, Dr Hugh Culber, played by fellow out actor Wilson Cruz.

The franchise has been known for pushing boundaries since it first aired in 1966, and even came under fire in the late ’60s for featuring an interracial kiss between the characters Kirk and Uhura.

Despite being known as groundbreaking, the episode still faced homophobic criticism from fans who don’t like seeing a happy gay couple on their TVs. But Cruz had a response for anyone who had a problem with Discovery’s queer representation.

“I’m not here for your comfort,” he wrote in a poignant Facebook post. “That’s not why we are here. We’re here to grow.”

“You can turn your TV off, sure, but you’ll only be cheating yourself,” he added. “LGBTQ people aren’t going to just disappear because you put your head in the sand. We share the planet with you. We have always been here. We will always be here. You just don’t want to see us. I’m happy to tell you we won’t be invisible anymore. Not for your comfort.”

Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu was portrayed as a married gay man by actor John Cho in the film Star Trek: Beyond, but a scene rumored to show a kiss between Sulu and his husband was ultimately cut from the film.

Aside from the news about the gay kiss, Rapp made headlines last month after accusing Kevin Spacey of sexual assault back in the ’80s. The revelation eventually led to the Oscar winner coming out of the closet, before several other men accused him of assault, as well.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra