Star Trek: Discovery creates history in the genderqueer community in its latest episode, as a new character enters the series. Newcomer Blu del Barrio makes an exciting debut as Adira, the show’s first non-binary actor.
Episode 3 sees the Discovery journey to Earth to learn how the Federation turned out after all those centuries ago. Blu del Barrio, the genius and Earth inspector then boards the ship to investigate the outdated technology of Stamets’ lab.
Who is Blu Del Barrio?
Del Barrio is a non-binary actor who uses ‘they/them’ for pronouns. Del Barrio was studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) when they first auditioned for the show. They eventually got in and were booked for the role of Adira.
“It’s really overwhelming,” they say on the opportunity of being casted. “It’s a really big deal for the queer community to see ourselves on screen.”
Del Barrio says having Adira helped them find the courage to come out to their own family about their identity.
“I was still going through my coming out process when I got this role,” says del Barrio. “The show gave me space to figure myself out. It was a really beautiful thing to be doing it in this duality.”
Del Barrio exudes cocky confidence as they demand to learn about the Stamets’ spore drive. However, such a feat remains unknown in its own field 900 years into the far future. Adira then commits that the Discovery couldn’t go anywhere until they get the answers that they need.
Star Trek: Discovery – Adira’s unexpected journey
Adira is not just Adira because they are also the elusive Admiral Tal. They are the last person in the universe who might have known what happened to the Star Fleet.
They have been penetrated by a Trill symbiont, a sentient and benevolent worm-like creature that lives inside a host’s abdomen. Once a symbiont joins with a person, that person gets to access all the memories of all the former hosts. One of them is actually Admiral Tal.
However, things will never be that easy for the Discovery crew. Adira is unable to access those memories. Captain Saru speculates that it may not be possible because they are originally human and not Trill.
As the series continues, Adira will explore what this means for their identity in an arc that draws parallels with the non-binary experience.
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 streams on CBS All Access and Netflix. The first three episodes are now available to watch, with fresh new episodes subsequently released weekly.