Star Trek: Discovery star Wilson Cruz recently received the Vito Russo Award at the 33rd GLAAD Awards. The Vito Russo Award honors LGBTQ media professionals who accelerate LGBTQ acceptance, and is named after GLAAD’s founder. Cruz, along with several of his Star Trek: Discovery castmates, attended the ceremony in New York on May 7th.
Cruz said in his acceptance speech, “Remember this: We are a community of lovers who have dared to imagine, and make real, a more expansive and inclusive definition of love and identity for the human race. We mustn’t ever lose sight of that or the power inherent in it and the great service we continue to provide to humanity in the epic struggle of bending that moral arc toward more justice, more love and more acceptance. That is who we are and that is our charge.”
While presenting Cruz with the award, Jonathan Capehart said “When Wilson started out, there were only a handful of out folks in entertainment, journalism and politics. But Wilson has been advocating for us for three decades, unafraid to step up and say, ‘We are not going to stand for this. You can’t do this to our friends, families, colleagues and neighbors without a fight.’ Even if in some ways the fight remains the same, when you look at Florida, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and other states today, we see fierce advocates coming to the battlefield who are different and plentiful – and we have this man to thank.”
As Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery, Cruz has helped shape the way Star Trek looks at the future. As one half of a couple with Anthony Rapp’s Paul Stamets, Cruz helped break barriers by being part of the show’s first major, canon LGBTQ couple; in later seasons, he has helped co-parent both Adira Tal and Gray, Star Trek’s first non-binary and trans characters. By presenting a future in which a family looks as the Stamets-Culber family looks, he has helped imagine a future in which all are accepted, regardless of sexuality or gender. Right now, we all need to imagine that future.
WATCH: Wilson Cruz Accepts the Vito Russo Award at the 33rd GLAAD Awards
Fans have been drawn to Culber since the show’s premiere, and have shared their thoughts on both his importance as well as Cruz’s importance via articles like “Discovery’s Promise: It'll Gets Better” and “Star Trek: Discovery Redefines Family the Right Way.” As the franchise continues to boldly go into a braver, kinder future, the Star Trek family is leading the charge to make our own future just as bright.
Star Trek: Discovery currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. Internationally, the series is available on Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics, and on Pluto TV in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the Pluto TV Sci-Fi channel. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Star Trek: Discovery is distributed by Paramount Global Distribution Group.