It was not easy for “Star Trek” actor George Takei to come out of the closet. Fear for his career and what other people would say has prevented him from admitting to the public his real sexuality. The actor had to summon the courage and rely on anger to come out in the open and he did so by joining equal rights movements for sexual minorities in the United States.
While Takei is now enjoying his married life in the United States with his partner Brad Altman whom he married in 2008, he hopes that the same movement will spur those in hiding in Japan to come out. He acknowledged that while his country of ancestry has a long way to go from its conservative society, he is encouraged with the bits and pieces of movements made by the LGBT community in shaking the conformist culture of Japan. He believes that the Japanese people must be angry too to be able to fight for their own rights and equality. “They have to have courage to come out and share their lives honestly,” he noted. He hopes that a ripple effect would come out from the small movements happening in the country and added, “So I’m optimistic. I do think that Japan will be one of the nations that have equality and that too will serve as an example for other Asian nations.” He hopes that the small pockets of equal rights movements in Japan would help people be aware and prevent discrimination and bullying, which is still rampant.
The 77-year old actor is in Japan to guest in different events hosted by the U.S. embassy to celebrate the LGBT Pride Month in the United States. While in a party hosted by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy where he toasted gay rights, Takei compared future society with a miniature Starship Enterprise given to him by Kennedy. He said that it is the perfect description to the occasion they were celebrating and said, “That is our Utopian future. This Enterprise is a metaphor of Starship Earth with all of its diversity – not only diversity of race and culture and history but also the unseen diversity of orientation, all coming together working in concert for a better future. And that is what we are doing here tonight.”