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Fighting for the FutureEssays on Star Trek: Discovery$
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Sabrina Mittermeier and Mareike Spychala

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621761

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

‘Never Hide Who You Are’

‘Never Hide Who You Are’

Queer Representation and Actorvism in Star Trek: Discovery

(p.331) ‘Never Hide Who You Are’
Fighting for the Future

Sabrina Mittermeier

Mareike Spychala


After 50 years of franchise history, Star Trek has finally welcomed major canon queer characters in the form of Lt. Paul Stamets and his partner, Dr. Hugh Culber, counteracting an exclusion of LGBTQ characters that has been more than jarring for a famously liberal franchise. This essay argues that Discovery successfully normalizes queerness without reducing the characters to their sexual orientation – while, however, remaining fairly homonormative. The chapter further argues that by explicit intertextual references to the original Star Trek, the series also gestures to and brings to the forefront some of the queer subtext and potential that has so long been explored by fans. It also delves into representation and “actorvism” by out gay actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz behind the screen to note the ways in which representation before and behind the camera often still go hand in hand.

Keywords:   Star Trek, Star Trek Discovery, queer, LGBTQ, representation

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