ANTHONY Rapp is set to play Star Trek’s first openly gay TV character in the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery.

Rapp’s character, Lt Stamets, will be the first openly gay character in the franchise’s run of over 50 years, Entertainment Weekly has reported.

“We’re at a point in time where people aren’t defined by their sexuality,” said showrunner Aaron Harberts.

“What’s fascinating about the character is that when we meet him we don’t know who or what he is. He’s so super specific, he’s persnickety and difficult and brilliant, and he isn’t going to give an inch and he has very strong feelings about why he’s on the Discovery.

“We wanted to roll out that character’s sexuality the way people would roll out their sexuality in life.”

The new Discovery series will delve deeper into the characters’ personal relationships, including Stamets, who is in a relationship with another crew member.

While last year’s Star Trek: Beyond film offered a brief glimpse of Sulu with a presumed partner, Stamets’ gay relationship will be more fully addressed in the show.

“I’m really excited and happy when a gay character is part of a story,” said Rapp.

“Especially when a gay character is created in a complex and human and non-stereotypical, interesting way, and that has certainly been the case with Stamets.

“And you get to see his relationship. There was a little glimpse in Sulu in Beyond, and it was a nice nod. But in this case, we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated.”

Star Trek: Discovery will be released on Netflix in September.

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