In keeping up with the series’ legacy of being a bastion of diversity on television, the new “Star Trek” TV show being developed by streaming service CBS All Access, “Star Trek: Discovery,” will be introducing the first openly gay main character in the franchise.

The “Star Trek” TV show, which already made headlines with its racially diverse casting, will see Anthony Rapp play Lt. Stamets, an anastromycologist (fungus expert).

Not just a token LGBTQ character

According to Entertainment Weekly, the “Star Trek” TV show will also see Stamets’ life explored beyond the surface.

In fact, Stamets will be getting a love interest in the form of another member of the crew.

It has already been confirmed that Wilson Cruz will be playing that minor character, which is named Dr. Hugh Culber. This means there will be at least two LGBT characters in this series, a huge step for entertainment diversity.

Stamets’ work on mushroom research will be an important priority for the Starfleet especially with their conflict with the Klingons.

“He’s a really, really smart guy and as smart guys go, he sometimes can be a little difficult to deal with because not everybody’s as smart as he is,” Rapp says of the character.

Rapp, who rose to fame as a cast member of both the Broadway and movie versions of “Rent,” applauded the show’s courage to include two gay characters without resorting to tokenism.

Diversity of the franchise

The Mary Sue reports that while this is the first time that a character is openly gay in the “Star Trek” franchise, there was one instance of that in previous iterations that were only retroactively revealed.

Last year, Hikaru Sulu (played by John Cho) was revealed to be gay after a fleeting shot of him and a presumed partner is seen in the Chris Pine-starring “Star Trek Beyond.” The news polarized critics and fans, including former cast members like LGBT icon George Takei.

The “Star Trek” TV show is also notable for being the first series in the franchise that will not be led by a Captain. This time, a female actress of color will be the lead. Sonequa Martin-Green, famous for her role in “The Walking Dead,” will play First Officer Michael Burnham.

Star Trek: Discovery” will be making its two-hour premiere on network television via CBS on September 24.

The next episodes in the 15-episode season will be making their debut on CBS All Access every week. It will be the streaming service’s second scripted series after “The Good Fight.”

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