The upcoming film “Star Trek Beyond” will reveal that one of television and film’s most iconic characters, USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu, is gay and the father of a daughter with a same-sex partner.

John Cho, who plays Sulu in the “Star Trek” film franchise rebooted by filmmaker J.J. Abrams in 2009, told News Corp Australia on Thursday that “Beyond” director Justin Lin and co-writer Simon Pegg had opted to state Sulu’s sexual orientation as a sign of changing times and cultural expectations.

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“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” said Cho, 44.

Cho’s publicist, Jillian Roscoe, confirmed to USA Today that the quote is accurate. The film’s studio, Paramount Pictures, told the newspaper it would not comment due to director Lin wanting to keep the revelation a surprise to the audience. “Star Trek Beyond” opens July 22.

Actor George Takei, the original Sulu in the 1966-69 NBC science-fiction drama “Star Trek” and six subsequent feature films, came out as gay in 2005 in Frontiers, a Los Angeles gay and lesbian magazine, and has since become a prominent LGBT advocate. He told The Associated Press after coming out that, “The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay.” He said to News Corp last year that during most of his career, “If I wanted to work as an actor I had to keep it a secret,” adding, “Back then I couldn’t marry a white person — that was against the law here, miscegenation. But now I am married to a white dude so we have changed.”