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Melissa Navia: Revealed Her Gender And Grieved On The Loss Of Her Partner

Himal Ale Magar


In an interview with Variety, when asked about her pronouns, the Colombian-American actor and writer Melissa Navia revealed her gender and the pronouns she uses.

Melissa smiled and faced the Zoom camera, and said, “She/her.”

She added, “But, I mean, I’m from New York, and in a lot of our wonderful queer spaces in New York City, everyone is they/them, because it’s just easier. So I’m also always open to that as well.”

Melissa Navia [Photo: Instagram]

She explained that she always defied gender norms and sexual identity without understanding that they were gender norms. Melissa said there was queerness to it, and it was joyful and real.

No Gender Label On Her Role

Melissa Navia plays one of the new characters in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Erica Ortegas, who is the pilot of the USS Enterprise.

Her character’s appearance and chemistry with other members of the cast have led viewers to speculate about her sexuality.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she stated that her character in the TV show Star Trek does not have to put a label on.

She told Variety,

“I think we’re gonna see — I mean, I can’t say anything — but I think we’re gonna see that for Ortegas, if she relates to somebody, if she likes somebody, it doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from. If there’s a connection, she’s going to go for that.”

Also Read: McKenna Maduli and Her Boyfriend: A Decade Strong in Love

Queer And Gender Representation On Star Trek

Since Star Trek: Discovery in 2017, the popular franchise has been incorporating numerous LGBTQ+ characters in the story.

Recently, the direction of the depiction of queerness led to trans actor Jesse James Keitel playing a non-binary pirate on the series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Melissa told The Daily Beast that she loved the idea of premiering the series during Pride Month.

She said, “I can’t wait to see what fans and especially the trans and LGBT community continue to see in Ortegas. And hearing from them also inspires a lot of what we then bring to the role.”

The promotional advertisements for the new season of the franchise featured rainbow colors and graphics.

Melissa added, “I don’t know if that was on purpose, but I’m going to go ahead and say it was!”

Also Read: Aniko Bollok Parents: Darcey Silva and Frank Bollok, Dated for Two Years

Melissa Lost Her Partner

In December 2021, tragedy struck Mellisa as she lost her partner, Brian Bannon, of six years. It was a difficult time for her, and she has since then penned several heartfelt tributes to him on Instagram.

Furthermore, in May 2022, in an interview with Newstalk’s Podcast, she reflected on the loss of her partner and how he had influenced her acting career.

Melissa revealed that Brian was the reason she auditioned for Star Trek. He binged the 1990s series Star Trek: Deep Science Nine while she waited to hear whether she’d landed the role.

She shared that he was a very kind person, his faith in her never wavered, and he always gave her the support she needed to pursue her dream.

Sadly, Melissa’s partner Brian was diagnosed with leukemia in 2021.

He passed away soon after. To commemorate his memory, Melissa traveled to Brian’s hometown in Ireland to celebrate what would be his 50th birthday.

She told Moncrieff Highlights, ‘”I ended up flying to Dublin on the morning of February 25th as the sun was rising.”

She recalled, “I had to laugh, Brian makes me laugh still all the time he had told me that he didn’t want to spend his 50th birthday with anybody but me.”

Looking Back At Brian’s Life

Born on February 25, 1972, in London, England, Brian’s hometown was in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland. Professionally a musician, he lived in the US for 20 years.

According to the Irish Mirror, Melissa said, “He was the most wonderful musician. Irish cowboy country blues. That was him. He was handsome, charming, and intelligent. He had the most amazing heart and beat the odds time and time again.”

Melissa Navia and Brian Bannon [Photo: Instagram]

Additionally, Melissa’s sister remembered Brian as the most talented, patient, and generous person she had known and mourned the loss of her sister.

Brian is survived by his dad, Tom Bannon, his sister Orla, his brother, Paul Bannon, his partner Melissa, and other extended family members.