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Discovery's Ian Alexander on the Importance of Being Star Trek's First Trans Character

Star Trek: Discovery's Ian Alexander spoke on the importance of his character Gray being the long-running franchise's first trans character.

"People have not really seen trans people, especially not a transmasculine person in a mainstream show as huge and immensely worldwide popular as Star Trek," the actor stated in a recent interview with USA Today.

"So I'm very, very excited for that impact that these characters – my character, Gray, and Blu del Barrio's character, Adira – will have on the world, especially for trans teenagers and trans people in general," he added.

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Alexander also expressed his excitement over seeing a trans character on-screen that doesn't need their entire character to revolve around the fact that they're trans. "It's so nice to see a trans person exist onscreen without necessarily needing to exclaim to the world, 'I'm trans,'" Alexander said.

Despite his acclaimed role, the actor admitted that he struggles with imposter syndrome, in regards to being a trans-icon on television. "I think that's sort of the conundrum of a lot of other trans actors … Because there are so few opportunities for us that when we finally do get those opportunities, it feels kind of alienating," Alexander stated. "It feels like we shouldn't be there because it feels sort of unexpected that we are finally getting included in ways that we weren't before."

Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Michael Burnham, Doug Jones as Commander Saru, Anthony Rapp as Lt. Commander Paul Stamets, Mary Wiseman as Ensign Sylvia Tilly, Shazad Latif as Ash Tyler, Wilson Cruz as Dr. Hugh Culber, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Mary Chieffo as L'Rell, Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno, Ethan Peck as Spock, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou. Season 3 of the series is currently streaming on CBS All Access every Thursday through Jan. 7, 2021.

Source: USA Today

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