In an interview with SirusXM Progress, George Takei opened up about his sexuality and decision to come out in 2005. The Star Trek alum--who is currently starring in Allegiance on Broadway, a semi-autobiographical work about his time spent in a Japanese internment camp--said his father told him about American democracy growing up.
"He said you have to be actively engaged in the political process to make our democracy work. So I've been doing that my entire life. Civil rights movement. The peace movement during the Viet Nam conflict. The movement to get an apology and redress for Japanese-Americans. But I was silent on that one issue that was closest to me."
Takei then cited an early gay crush:
"When I was a teenager, there was a heartthrob named Tab Hunter. People today might not recognize that name. He was a blond, stunningly handsome boy next door. All American movie star guy. Every other movie coming from Warner Brothers studio starred Tab Hunter. But Confidential magazine exposed him as gay. And suddenly he faded."
But once Takei finally decided to come out, he felt great relief:
"Being an actor you're public and visible. I could be seen coming out of a gay bar. Who could have seen me?...So you're always on guard. You're always, you know, insecure. And that affected my life very much. And it was such a relief to be out and not be looking over your shoulder, tightly gripped all the time."
Listen to the full podcast below:
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