In a first for Star Trek, new TV series Star Trek: Discovery features two gay officers who are in a relationship.
The series, currently airing on CBS All Access in the US and Netflix globally, features Rent star Anthony Rapp as scientist Lt Paul Stamets, and Wilson Cruz as medic Dr Culber.
The pair’s relationship has become a central part of the show, angering some fans who are apparently opposed to same-sex romance on Star Trek.
Cruz responded to complaints in a Facebook post this week.
He wrote: “I’m going to say this once and post it here for anyone who has an issue. I won’t be spending my time arguing with the few. I’m focusing on the love.
“I’m not here for your comfort. That’s not why we are here. We’re here to grow.
“Star Trek is and has always been here to challenge you to look outside of yourself and to see other people and other experiences in yourself. There is no division between you and me. I am just another human giving and receiving love, just like you. That is all.”
He added: “You can turn your TV off, sure, but you’ll only be cheating yourself. LGBTQ people aren’t going to just disappear because you put your head in the sand.
“We share the planet with you. We have always been here. We will always be here. You just don’t want to see us. I’m happy to tell you we won’t be invisible anymore. Not for your comfort.
“We are living and loving out loud the way our creator intended us to because LOVE is nothing to hide. If my love offends you then you should take a look at that. Love is never wrong. It is the answer.”
The actor continued: “We need MORE of it along with more curiosity and wonder at the diversity within our very own species. That’s no accident. We were all made differently for a reason.
“How much easier would it be if we were all the same? Perhaps, we aren’t exactly the same so we could do the great work of seeing, appreciating and LOVING those beautiful and quirky differences that make us human.
“Willful ignorance has only brought us pain and anger and death. I know that’s not what you want.
“I humbly suggest you learn the lesson. Star Trek could be a great start. It’s been my experience that if you don’t learn it, the universe, in the end, will find a more personal way to teach it to you.
“That’s harder. So, learn it with us and open your mind and heart. It’s easier that way.”
Right-wing activist Peter LaBarbera recently suggested that Star Trek should ‘balance’ the number of gay characters on TV by having some ‘ex-gay’ characters.
Speaking on radio station VCY America, LaBarbera claimed that the media should include more characters who have cured themselves of homosexuality for balance.
He said: “The homosexual activists are never satisfied, they always want more, more, more. We have yet to see an ex-gay, a former homosexual prominently portrayed in Hollywood.
“This is more activism, and I guess all we can do is not watch Star Trek.
“I wasn’t going to watch it anyway, but certainly with this sort of propaganda. I think Americans are tired of it. They’re tired of all the political correctness, and that’s why Trump won in the first place.
“You can throw up your hands and say, I can’t do anything about it, but the other side never stops fighting. There is a battle between good and evil in this country.
“Do something… call your congressmen. We’re going to be talking about the Equality Act, very dangerous legislation from homosexual activists.
“Say you oppose this homosexual legislation that make it easier for homosexual activists to persecute people of faith for opposing this juggernaut which calls itself ‘gay’.”
Of course, LaBarbera’s claim that “we have yet to see an ex-gay, a former homosexual prominently portrayed in Hollywood” is untrue.
2015 film ‘I Am Michael’ starred James Franco as ‘ex-gay’ activist Michael Glatze, who claimed to have cured his homosexuality after becoming an evangelical Christian.
The film, which also featured Zachary Quinto, was a commercial flop, and only secured a limited release.
JJ Abrams’ Star Trek film series – which takes place in an entirely different continuity to the rest of the Star Trek universe – recently caused a storm by retroactively revealing that beloved character Mr Sulu is gay.
Mr Sulu, played by Takei in the original series and John Cho in the reboot films, was shown embracing his daughter and husband in 2016 release Star Trek: Beyond.
Despite lengthy discussion of Sulu’s sexuality prior to the film’s release, a kiss between the character and his husband was axed from the final cut of the film – reportedly a last-minute decision that led to accusations of pandering to censors around the world.
Takei said at the time he would prefer new characters to be added, rather than “twisting” the original universe.
He said: “Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.”