Star Trek’s new non-binary star reflects on how the iconic franchise helped them come out to their family

Star Trek

Star Trek: Discovery‘s new non-binary star Blu del Barrio has revealed that their role on the show actually helped them come out to their family friends.

Del Barrio will make their screen acting debut in the iconic sci-fi franchise as the non-binary cadet Adira, a mysterious character who’s suffering from memory loss.

It’s del Barrio’s first major role after studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and they were still largely in the closet when they auditioned in their senior year.

“When I got the call that I’d been cast as Adira, I hadn’t yet told the majority of my friends and family that I was non-binary,” they shared in an interview with GLAAD.

“I had only recently discovered the word and realised that it described how I’d felt for a long time. I knew I wanted to tell my friends and family, so when this happened, it felt like the universe saying ‘go ahead’.

“So in a way, Adira’s story ends up mirroring mine. Just after I told people in my life, so did Adira. Definitely not the most common coming out story, but it was scary, special, and life changing (as they usually are).”

Like del Barrio, Adira is cautious about sharing their non-binary identity with others. But they start opening up after they find an affinity with the Discovery’s cutest LGBT+ couple, commander Paul Stamets and Dr Hugh Culber.

“When we meet Adira, they’re suffering from memory loss,” del Barrio explained. “They remember nothing from their past, and very little about themself.

“They know they’re non-binary, of course, but coming onto Discovery they’re cautious about sharing that information with anyone. They’re a private person, so they aren’t going to divulge a lot about themselves to a ship full of strangers.

“It’s not until Adira has found a place of comfort with Stamets and Culber that they feel they can talk about who they are.”

The third season of Star Trek: Discovery is scheduled to arrive on 15 October.