Star Trek Guide

Star Trek's LeVar Burton Tweets Support for Fan Who Wore Starfleet Hijab to Comic-Con

Fans of all stripes turn up to San Diego Comic-Con 2019 with a strong cosplay game and Star Trek fan are no exception. One fan, historian and author Blair Imani, blended her Star Trek fandom with her faith. She created a cosplay version of the classic Star Trek uniform as a hijab and wore it to the convention.

Imani shared photos of herself in the Starfleet hijab on social media. Some criticized Imani’s costume for taking liberties with the typical Starfleet design. Others backed her and complimented her creative cosplay. Imani spoke up for herself after the “controversy” and thanked those who stuck by her.

“Some people didn’t like my hijab being added to a Star Fleet uniform,” Imani tweeted. “Luckily TRUE FANS of @StarTrek know that diversity is KEY to Roddenberry’s vision. Thank you to everyone defending me against the trolls. Lots of love”

Imani also spoke to Today to reveal more about her decision to create and wear the costume. “I wanted to do an interpretation of a Star Trek design that included me and my culture,” Imani says. “It all came together really amazingly.”

Fans will notice that Imani’s costume also includes a VISOR like the one worn by Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Geordi himself, actor LeVar Burton, stepped in to give his seal of approval to Imani’s costume.

“Best cosplay of Geordi, EVER... courtesy of my friend @BlairImani,” Burton tweeted. “Thank you, little Sister, you honor not only me, but all the kids out there who saw LaForge as a hero. #bydhttmwfi”

Imani’s costume is an extension of Star Trek’s themes of inclusivity and diversity that Burton says touched his life even before he was cast in The Next Generation, as he explained in a CBC Radio interview in November. “I felt a responsibility, having been an enormous fan of the original series, Star Trek,” Burton said of joining The Next Generation's cast. “I’m a huge fan of the science fiction genre, always have been. Science fiction is my go-to body of literature for just pure pleasure and enjoyment. When I want to read something for me, it’s generally science fiction or fantasy. Star Trek was one of the very few representations of the future I encountered as a kid where people who looked like me were represented. So in an era in my and in America where it was rare to see black people on TV except on the nightly news during the Vietnam War era when most of the soldiers we were sending to the theater of were black kids, Star Trek was huge.


"What Gene Roddenberry, as a storyteller, was saying to me was, ‘When the future comes, there’s a place for you.’ That’s hard to underestimate the power that seeing oneself reflected in the popular culture, what impact it has. It validates you. Absent seeing yourself represented, or people who are like you represented in popular culture, you are sent a very dangerous message, a message that says, ‘You don’t matter,’ that you’re not important. So you know, quite naturally, I clung onto that example of black people in the future.”

What do you think of this Star Trek cosplay? Let us know in the comments.


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