Children of the Sun > Newsday Archives 2005

Oh, Thulu....



George Takei, 'Mr. Sulu' of Star Trek fame, comes out

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Actor George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Hikaru Sulu in "Star Trek," comes out as homosexual in the Oct. 26 issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community.

Takei said his new onstage role, as psychologist Martin Dysart in "Equus," helped inspire him to publicly discuss his sexuality. Takei described the character as a "very contained but turbulently frustrated man." The play opened Wednesday at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Los Angeles.

The current social and political climate also motivated Takei's disclosure, he said.

"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 68-year-old actor said he considers himself as "having been out for quite some time." Takei and his partner, Brad Altman, have been together for 18 years.

Takei, a Japanese-American who lived in a U.S. internment camp from age 4 to 8, said he grew up feeling shameful about his ethnicity and sexuality. He likened prejudice against gays to racial segregation.

"It's against basic decency and what American values stand for," he said.

Takei began his acting career in 1959, appearing in "Ice House" with Richard Burton. He joined the "Star Trek" cast in 1973 as Mr. Sulu, a character he played for three seasons on television and in six subsequent films. Takei has appeared in scores of movies and television shows. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986.

A community activist, Takei ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 1973. He serves on the advisory committee of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and is chairman of East West Players, the theater company producing "Equus." The play closes Dec. 4.

Also, the word filter makes the article 100 times better in my opinion.


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