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'Star Trek Beyond': John Cho's character Sulu is openly gay

Mr. Hikaru Sulu is out and proud in "Star Trek Beyond."

John Cho, who plays Sulu in the most recent "Star Trek" films, said that his character has a daughter and a partner, making him the first openly gay character in "Star Trek" franchise history.

Still, Cho said the filmmakers decided to take a low-key approach. "I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out [of] it," Cho told Australia's Herald Sun, "which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one's personal orientations."

Cho added that writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin made the decision as a nod to George Takei, who came out in 2005, and has been a notable LGBT activist. Takei played Sulu in the 1960s in "Star Trek: The Original Series."

"Star Trek" has advocated certain social progress in the past -- it featured in 1968 the first interracial kiss ever on U.S. TV -- but has historically not included significant LGBT representation.

"Star Trek Beyond" will attempt to rule San Diego Comic-Con by holding its world premiere there on July 20. Touted as the "first-ever outdoor Imax premiere," the event will include appearances by the film's cast and crew, and a live concert by the San Diego Symphony orchestra.

"Star Trek Beyond" hits theaters on July 22.

Variety

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