"I grew up determined not to be marginalized."
George Hosato Takei, known as Hikaru Sulu from the Star Trek series, caused a media sensation in 2005 when he publicly revealed that he had been in a relationship with a man for 18 years (via). In 2008, Takei married his longtime partner Brad Altman in a multicultural ceremony: "We have a relationship that's been stronger and longer-lived than some of our straight friends, and yet we were not equal." "What this does is give us that dignity; (it's) being part of the American system and being whole. We're making the American system whole as well, as America is becoming more equal."
At the wedding, "Nyota Uhura" Nichelle Nichols and "Pavel Chekov" Walter Koenig served as best lady and best man. (via).
Takei was 68 years old at the time of his disclosure. He says that coming out is a "very difficult and personal thing" and a "long, long process" for a public figure and that he had been out to the other actors and actresses on the set of "Star Trek" in the 1960s (via). His public disclosure was a reaction to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's not signing the same sex marriage bill. Takei said that he was angry but "couldn't speak out without coming out. My voice had to be authentic." So he talked to a magazine (via).
In the 1940s, the Japanese-American family Takei was sent for internment and could only return to Los Angeles after World War II (via). Takei compares prejudice against gays with ethnic segregation: "It's against basic decency and what American values stand for." (via).
He is an activist for human rights for LGBT (via) and was celebrity grand marshal of the Seattle pride parade on 29th June 2014 - so far the largest parade in Seattle Pride history (via).
George Takei is lending his name to the cause: "It's OK to be Takei"
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