Star Trek has always prided itself on its diversity, but there’s been an odd blank: There’s never been, canonically at least, a gay character. Oh, fans have had their suspicions about some characters, and Gene Roddenberry, before his death, had planned to introduce one. It’s something that Ronald D. Moore rather bluntly stated the show had “failed at” doing. But it appears Star Trek Beyond will be breaking that barrier.
The movie isn’t going to make a big thing out of it, according to John Cho. That’s based on the belief that a few centuries from now, we will hopefully be used to the idea of gay people A) existing and B) having personal lives. In a nice touch, Demora, Sulu’s daughter, is not being written off; instead Sulu and his husband have adopted.
It’s worth noting, before people complain, that Sulu could well be canonically gay in the original series and it just never came up. We know he has a daughter, but whether she’s adopted, or even whether Sulu is married, isn’t revealed. Either way, though, it’s a nice touch and very much in the spirit of the show in its own way. Insisting that humanity will become more accepting is in many ways what Star Trek is all about, and meeting Sulu’s husband will be an extension of that.