Star Trek actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz have opened up about their history-making on-screen kiss.
In November, more than half a century since it first aired, the iconic series showed its audience a gay kiss.
The kiss, during the mid-season finale of Netflix’s Star Trek: Discovery, was between Rapp’s Lieutenant Paul Stamets, a top scientist, and Cruz’s Dr Hugh Culber, a medical officer.
— Lewis Peters (@lew_and_i) November 14, 2017
Now, Rapp and Cruz – who are both gay themselves – have revealed how much the kiss meant to them, both as actors and LGBT activists.
Rapp, who has also starred in Rent, said they knew how groundbreaking the kiss would be, and were determined to make sure it happened.
“We were very much aware that there had never been a male-on-male kiss in Star Trek before,” he told Attitude.
“We had conversations with the producers, asking if this was going to happen.
“A few episodes in we asked again, and they replied ‘yes, absolutely,'” he recalled.
And he praised the way in which the show’s producers handled the scene itself.
“When it happened it was a good time, it was earned and had a meaningful impact, and it was satisfying,” he said.
“If it had happened earlier, it probably wouldn’t have had the same meaning.
“I appreciated the relationship was revealed in subtle ways; it was part of the fabric of the ship.”
Rapp said he had noticed the positive effect which the kiss had had on fans.
“The Trek community has a vibrant LGBT+ segment to it, and people were really gratified that it was presented in a direct, uncomplicated and human way,” he said.
Cruz, who hit out at homophobic fans of the show after they criticised the storyline, said that as a child, he craved the kind of gay representation Star Trek is providing.
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“I wanted to see a character on TV who reflected my life back to me,” he said.
“Growing up, I wanted to see two men love each other and share a life, and have the same ups and downs that their heterosexual counterparts had.
“The fact that I got to be that change in the world was and is the greatest thrill to me,” Cruz added.
Rapp has also spoken out about his reasons for coming forward with sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey that date from when he was 14 years old.
“I did it to stand on the shoulders of all that I was witnessing around me,” he said.
“I was hopeful that sharing my story would have an impact.
“There are so many different shades and degrees of this kind of behaviour and these kinds of situations, but the most insidious to me is when it’s an abuse of power,” he added.
“No matter what, I would urge anybody to stay safe, take care of themselves and each other and to get help and support when they need it.
“There is no such thing as truly being alone, which is what I hope this moment demonstrates – that there is strength in numbers.”