By now, you’re almost certainly aware of the viral video, showing a racially-charged confrontation, that sources from avid bird watcher Christian Cooper’s Facebook account. The clip shows Amy Cooper (the two aren’t related) calling the cops and falsely reporting that Christian was threatening her life, after he simply asked her to leash her dog. The confrontation took place in a portion of Central Park where dogs are required to be leashed, and Amy has since lost her job and faced backlash for her actions, which has also brought the “Karen” label back into discussion.
Christian told CBS that he recorded the video because “I wasn’t gonna participate in my own dehumanization and feed that.” He’s also now receiving renewed attention for his trailblazing ways in the comic book world. The Harvard-educated Christian, who’s a former Marvel editor and writer, is being recognized for creating the first gay character, Yoshi Mishima, in a Star Trek comic. This character is also the first gay human in the Star Trek universe, as noted by Out. The outlet credits Christian with digging deep into discrimination issues not only within the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy comic but also with his work on the Ghost Rider and Vengeance titles.
In 1998, E! Online quoted Christian as saying he wrote Yoshi as “gay all along, but I just never came right out and said it.” Marvel Comics Editor Bobbi Chase further explained that Christian was “trying to make a strong case that the Star Trek future is a utopian future where tolerance of all beliefs and of all races…is the name [of the game].” In Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Yoshi was part of a training squadron with his roommate, Matthew Decker. At the time, William Shatner said of Yoshi, “May he fly farther and faster.”