Rock on, George. And congrats on keeping your relationship together for 18 years. That's no small feat.
'Star Trek' actor reveals he is gay
George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu in "Star Trek," has revealed he is gay in Frontiers magazine, which covers the LGBT community of Los Angeles.
Takei, 68, told the Associated Press that his current stage role as the "very contained but turbulently frustrated" psychologist Martin Dysart in "Equus" was part of what motivated him to disclose his sexuality. The play opened Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The other aspect Takei considered was the current political climate.
"The world has changed from when I was a young teen feeling ashamed for being gay," he said. "The issue of gay marriage is now a political issue. That would have been unthinkable when I was young."
The actor said he has been in a relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years.
Takei likened prejudice against the LGBT community to racial segregation, saying he grew up feeling ashamed of both his ethnicity and sexuality.
When Takei was 4 years old, he, along with thousands of other Japanese-Americans, was moved into internment camps while the United States battled Japan in World War II.
"It's against basic decency and what American values stand for," he said.
In 1966, Takei joined the "Star Trek" cast as the starship's helmsman, Hikaru Sulu, a character he played for three seasons on TV and in six films. In 1986, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Star Trek fans, such as Martha Fischer, have posted their feelings on the Internet.
"I have to admit that when I read this story I actually experienced a sharp intake of breath, accompanied by a hand raised to my mouth. Yes, it was a horrifyingly stereotypical female reaction of shock," she wrote on cinematical.com. "George Takei? Gay? Holy crap!"
"Mr. Sulu is, along with his shipmates, really sort of an icon; like it or not, in our weird culture of fandom, what Takei does has a huge impact on 'Star Trek' lovers around the world," she added.
"It took a lot of balls to do what Takei did," Fischer concluded. "More power to him, and hearty congrats to the man. Warp speed and all that."