March 4, 2023

Discovery Helped Me Discover Who I Am

Discovery Helped Me Discover Who I Am

By Ensign Haven

On Thursday, March 2nd, 2023, we learned that Star Trek Discovery was coming to its end. I have been sitting here in snowy Ontario, Canada, watching Star Trek as I often do, and as many people other people surely are, I am saddened by the fact that Season 5 will be the final season.

Girafe said in this week's podcast episode reviewing "Seventeen Seconds," that it felt like we were broken up via a text message. That is the most perfect analogy since Discovery was my saving point.  

 Before Star Trek returned in 2017, I was in a very dark place. I was homeless, living on the streets of Calgary, Alberta and Toronto, Ontario, and I was addicted to some very powerful drugs. As you can imagine, the combination affected my mental health. 

 When people say that Star Trek changes their lives, I can say with first-hand experience that it changed my life. Trek always gave me hope ever since I discovered it in the mid to late 90s with Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  

I always knew there was something different in me when I was growing up. I always joked, saying I was not human because I didn’t feel like a typical boy. I just felt like I was not anything like any of my closest friends, only later to discover, thanks to a person I was romantically involved with, about being non-binary. 

But I pushed away those thoughts because I thought being non-binary meant that I had to transition, but then with Star Trek always being the most progressive show out there, and Discovery being the first Star Trek series to have the first transgender and nonbinary actors with Ian Alexander and Blu del Barrio, it felt like it was a show that truly showed joy and gratitude for all of humanity, including all genders and sexualities which truly gave me the peace that Star Trek has brought me since discovering it (no pun intended).

To quote an interview Blu del Barrio did with GLAAD in 2020,

“I hadn’t told the majority of my friends and family that I was non-binary. I had only recently discovered the word and realised that it described how I’d felt for a long time. I knew I wanted to tell my friends and family…” 

That quote is exactly how I felt after meeting Gray and Adira Tal in season three of Discovery

I feel like Star Trek is breaking up with me with us losing Discovery. With the exception of Jesse James Keitel playing Captain Angel, we have not had much more trans or non-binary representation, which breaks my hearts. If I was a timelord, both of my hearts would have been broken. But let us hope Star Trek continues to boldly go with more queer representation while continuing to explore where no one has gone before.

Ensign Haven

Starbase 80 Operations Team


*Haven is a member of Strange New Pod's "Strange New Crew" moderation team.