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Did ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Really Bury Their Gays?

A plot twist on Sunday night’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery has reportedly upset a lot of fans, but according to the show’s cast and crew things are not what they appear aboard the USS Discovery.

Before we go on, I should probably tell you that SPOILERS. And did I mention SPOILERS? It’s so funny, I just SPOILERS.

On the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, titled “Despite Yourself,” Dr. Hugh Culber, played by My So Called Life and Noah’s Arc legend Wilson Cruz, is seemingly killed by another character.

The plot twist enraged and saddened queer fans of the CBS show, PinkNews reports. The decision appeared to play into a much-loathed narrative trope called “bury your gays,” which refers to the disproportionate frequency at which queer characters are killed off for the sake of storytelling.

The twist also struck viewers as hypocritical, considering all the recent press that Culber and his partner, played by Anthony Rapp of Rent, had received for being the first gay couple on any Star Trek television series.

But according to a post-show interview with Wilson Cruz, Culber’s final moments might not be so final.

“We will see Dr. Culber again,” said Cruz, who is gay himself, in an interview with Inverse. “[We’re] asking the audience to trust us. This is not a bury your gays, kill your gays trope storyline. This is a chapter in this relationship, and even Paul and Hugh have no idea what’s about to go down.”

Star Trek: Discovery showrunner Aaron Harberts also promised that Culber would return in an interview with Entertainment Tonight: “We love these characters and we’re committed to them and the actors playing them, and I can promise you haven’t seen the last of [Culber].”


Harron Walker

Harron Walker is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn. Her work can be found on Vice, BuzzFeed, Teen Vogue, Vulture, Them, and a bunch of other places.

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