By Karli Bendlin
The Huffington Post
Originally published July 20, 2016
Here is an excerpt:
Gene Roddenberry’s original concept for the show focused on both a Western outer space adventure and a political agenda grounded in equality. The series touched on many social issues, including race relations, feminism and gender identity; themes that carried over into the film franchise.
For example, the episode “The Outcast” took a look at gender and sexual identity when the crew came in contact with a race that had no assigned gender. The episode was intended to draw attention to the discussion of LGBT rights, a topic still considered taboo in mainstream culture. “Star Trek Beyond” will feature the franchise’s first openly gay character, a move that producer J.J. Abrams said Roddenberry would have applauded.
“One of the many things I admire about [Roddenberry] was … how he was so about inclusivity, and I can’t imagine that he would not have wanted one of these characters, if he had been allowed ― which, of course, he would never have been allowed to in that era ― [to] have them be gay,” Abrams told HuffPost in a recent interview.
The entire article is here.