Sci-fi legend, George Takei, also known as Star Trek’s Mr Sulu, has revealed the importance of fighting for gay rights.
The actor, who steered the USS enterprise for 40 years, came out last year after becoming despondent with slow gay legislation in his home State of California.
Takei told BBC Norfolk, on a visit to the UK, “Our California state legislator passed the same sex marriage bill. This was something that has happened in no other state legislator’s in the United States. All that was required was the signature of our governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“When he ran for office he made all these moderate statements. That he’s from Hollywood, that he’s worked with gays and lesbians and that he’s perfectly comfortable with them.
“When he did an interview with one of our late night talk shows and he was asked directly ‘If our legislator passes the same sex marriage bill, would you sign it?’ he said that he would.
When it was passed and on his desk to sign, he vetoed it… and that’s why I felt I needed to speak out and to do that my voice needed to be authentic – so I spoke to the press for the first time about being in a partnership with another man for 19 years and that’s when the Pandora’s box opened.”
He recently toured America with the Human Rights Campaign to raise awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities, “It was an enormous success. I drew the parallel between my childhood behind the barbed wire fence of an American internment camp… and the invisible, but legalistic barbed wire fence that is keeping gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (GLBT) people from our full American citizenship rights.
“I talked about how those abnormal conditions that I grew up in as a child are equal to the abnormal situation that the GLBT community is now faced with.
“It’s normal for two people who love each other, who take responsibility for each other, to be able to be married.
“It’s normal for committed couples to be able to share their pension, insurance and property. What is abnormal, is that the GLBT community cannot – simply because of our sexuality.
He added, “I think that by sharing our lives, discussing the history that we have and the normality of our relationships, people will come to understand what we’re talking about.
“The GLBT community has been stereotyped… and the more we flesh out who we are – company executives, teachers, policemen, soldiers, part of our families – then we cease to be stereotypes and from that comes an understanding.”
The full interview can be seen by clicking here