Trek Star George Takei Talks Pride from the Steps of Stonewall

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

george takei as sulu

With more than 10 million Facebook followers, George Takei‘s now as famous on social media as he ever was playing a spaceship pilot on TV’s Star Trek.

Takei and his husband Brad Altman (seen beaming next to Takei in our video) are used to pushing boundaries — and not in a small way. In 2008, they became first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood.

Soon after, with license in hand, the couple went public by holding a press conference outside the West Hollywood city auditorium. When they finally said, “I do.” it was at the Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles — of which Takei a founding member. And among the wedding party, pair of conspicuously familiar faces: Takei’s best man was the former Ensign Chekov (Walter Koenig) and the original Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols).

If it can be said that one man’s journey through life, including coming out as gay, is heroic, Takei fits the mold better than most. His father named him George after the King of England who was handed the reins of power when his brother abdicated in 1937. By 1942 though, Takei and his family were forced into an interment camp for Japanese Americans — their first address was a converted horse stables — and they were shunted from one makeshift home to another for the remainder of the war. Adding insult to injury was the fact that several of Takei’s relatives who remained in Japan were killed when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima in 1945.

Takei began his acting career with a series of appearances on episodic television, but struck gold when he was cast as Sulu, helmsman of the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise in 1966. Decades before Lana Wachowski created the characters of Sense8 to illustrate what a one-world cooperative planet might look like Gene Roddenberry did the same with Star Trek. The series boasted black women in authority (Nichols), a Russian co-pilot (Koenig) and a Vulcan science officer (Leonard Nimoy), worked alongside Sulu to guide their ship safely from opening to closing credits.

Every member of the LGBTQ community owes him a small debt of gratitude for putting a human face on coming out. It’s an honor to post his message to you — and to paraphrase one of his famous cast mates, “live Proud and prosper.”

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Last modified: June 26, 2018