If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Queer as Folk's Jesse James Keitel to guest star in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to debut new non-binary character with guest star Jesse James Keitel

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has just announced a guest role starring trans actor Jesse James Keitel (Big Sky, Queer as Folk) as a non-binary character named Dr. Aspen. According to Variety, Dr. Aspen had once worked as a Starfleet counselor, but after their experience on the Federation border, shifted to becoming a humanitarian aid worker. They also may have a surprising connection to Spock (Ethan Peck). This episode, the show's seventh, will be directed by trans filmmaker Sydney Freeland (Reservation Dogs) and will air on June 16 on Paramount+.

Star Trek has had a long history of breaking boundaries when it comes to showcasing diversity in space, however the representation of queer and trans characters as main characters has been a more recent addition to the Trek world. In 2017, Star Trek: Discovery launched with Star Trek's first regularly appearing same-sex couple in Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets and Dr. Hugh Culber. Later in 2020, Discovery also introduced the first trans and non-binary characters in Star Trek history in Grey (Ian Alexander) and Adira (Blue Del Barrio).

While there is a long way to go in getting better and more thorough representation of non-binary and trans characters on the screen, Star Trek seems to be making a point of it, making sure to represent the trans community both in front of and behind the camera.

We are certainly looking forward to watching Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and meeting Dr. Aspen. Hopefully, we'll be able to see them in more than one episode in the future!


Interested in getting into some queer comics? Check out Popverse's guide to LGBTQ+ superhero comics!

ARE YOU ENJOYING POPVERSE?

Do you want more fandom news that's actually about your fandoms? That's what we're here for.

Subscribe to Popverse and get:

  • An ad-free viewing experience
  • Access to members-only articles
  • Access to our on-demand video library of panels and programs from live events
  • Access to exclusive presales for live event tickets to NYCC, MCM, ECCC & C2E2
  • An exclusive member gift

Membership starts at $65 / £45 per year.

About the Author

Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Before she came to PopVerse, she wrote for cool places like Paste Magazine, The Comics Journal, and The AV Club. She currently also serves as the co-editor of PanelxPanel Magazine. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.

Comments

Popverse logo

Around here we know a collection is never really complete

We've got the best products and exclusives in gaming, anime, comics, and more, all in one place.

Popverse Merch

More News

Latest Articles