Wilson Cruz on Bringing LGBTQ Romance to the Star Trek Universe

Wilson Cruz helped make Star Trek history by portraying Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery, one half of the first gay couple - along with Anthony Rapp as Lt. Paul Stamets - to be regularly featured as part of a Star Trek television series.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly as part of CBS’s push for Star Trek: Discovery to receive Emmy Awards consideration, Cruz looked back on this accomplishment.

“This franchise has been around for over 50 years, and to not have LGBT characters represented was an obvious missing piece of the world,” says Cruz. “So many LGBT people have been fans since the ’60s and have been wanting the LGBT community to be a part of this universe. For them to be thanking us, it’s so moving.”

It isn’t just the old fans though. Cruz is happy to reach an entirely new generation of Star Trek fans through Discovery.

“I think about young people who are watching the show and, I hope, feel that their futures are being represented in this relationship,” he says. “That they see our relationships are as worthy of representation as everyone else’s—because they are.”

Star Trek: Discovery came under some criticism from the LGBTQ community after Culber’s death and was accused of falling prey to the trope often called “burying your gays.” Cruz assured fans that Culber’s story was not over. He returned in a disembodied form late in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and has said he will return again in season two.

CBS has submitted Cruz for consideration in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama category.

Emmy Awards voting is now officially underway. The nominees will be announced on July 12th.

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The first season of Star Trek: Discovery is available to stream in its entirety on CBS All Access in the United States, through CraveTV in Canada, and through Netflix in other international markets. Star Trek: Discovery Season Two is now filming in Toronto.