For those who don’t know what Star Trek stands for, Gene Roddenberry presented his vision of the future: a utopia where humans have gone past the need for greed, war, or money.
He also focused on showcasing diversity in the TV shows. Much of the show’s themes focused on inclusivity, learning about (alien) races, and respecting differences.
Which is why, when historian Blair Imani added a hijab to her cosplay of Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the fandom rose up to support her against the usual internet trolls.
Some people didn’t like my hijab being added to a Star Fleet uniform. Luckily TRUE FANS of @StarTrek know that diversity is KEY to Roddenberry’s vision. Thank you to everyone defending me against the trolls. Lots of love 💕 pic.twitter.com/bwVgap6CfO— Blair Imani (@BlairImani) July 22, 2019
The actor LeVar Burton himself has given his blessing, calling it “the best cosplay ever” of his character Geordi.
Best cosplay of Geordi, EVER… courtesy of my friend @BlairImani Thank you, little Sister, you honor not only me, but all the kids out there who saw LaForge as a hero. #bydhttmwfi https://t.co/zNAVwXTwuf— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) July 20, 2019
Of course, anything that is in the least bit interesting on the internet draws haters, and many took to Twitter to denounce her effort, going so far as to “cite” the show itself.
The Federation rejected all religions and your beliefs are mocked as primitive by The Next Generation.— Jared Frost Brickey (@JaredBrickey) July 22, 2019
Roddenberry’s trek universe didn’t have religion in the federation. And all earth religions were just gone. They were a hurtle humanity had overcome. That’s why the bad guys had religions on the show. Roddenberry saw it as something to fight against using truth and logic.— NtPotUS (@ntpotus) July 22, 2019
But of course, there are also fans who understood Roddenberry’s optimistic future and came to her (and Roddenberry’s!) defense.
You represent exactly that Roddenberry had in mind when he created this universe. Acceptance, diversity, respect are core values and any Trek fan knows this. LLAP— Deena L. … wishing I was @STLV 🖖❤ (@deena7202) July 22, 2019
So we can have people of color, people with disabilities, Vulcans and half Vulcans, Klingons, androids, telepaths, genetically enhanced individuals and genius preteens on the bridge. But we can’t have a hijabi. Whatever happened to Trekkies supporting diversity?— Karim (@KarimMRZ) July 22, 2019
“Are you Children of the Sun?”— Dayton Ward (@daytonward) July 22, 2019
“Well, if you’re speaking of worships of sorts, we represent many beliefs.”
Septimus and Dr. McCoy, “Bread & Circuses”
And that’s really the perfect answer to such questions.
Trek on, Blair.
Yeah, I know Rod was an atheist, me too. It doesn’t change that respecting other cultures was an ingrained part of Star trek, it doesn’t change that trek has a obvious take on this kind of pettiness, and it doesn’t change— ROU Good Faith Argument (@VeryRedBike) July 23, 2019
Blair Imani hasn’t let the hate stop her, though. She has another cosplay prepared for the Official 2019 Star Trek Las Vegas Convention, this time as fan favourite Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg.
We can’t wait to see more of what she has to show us!
When a Star Trek cosplay makes you weep a little and reaffirms the power of Star Trek to inspire and change, you know it’s a good start to the day. Thanks so so much for this!— Ritterton (@Ritterton) July 21, 2019