Star Trek actor George Takei has admitted that he hopes gay rights will become more of a dominant part of society in his country of ancestry, Japan.
Takei is in Japan to attend embassy-organised events marking America’s LGBT Pride Month.
During an interview before a reception at US Ambassador to Japan’s official residence in Tokyo, Takei said that he needed courage and anger to come out as gay and to join the equal rights movement.
He hopes that Japan will follow America’s path for equal rights and said that even though he has noticed a movement beginning in Japan, the country still has a long way to go.
“There’s this sense of gay people (in Korea) being made to feel worthless,” said Takei.
Takei said that the parents of LGBT children are a key part of self-acceptance saying: “the core unit of a society is the family. Parental love for their child, and the child’s love for the parents, and sibling love
“I have a message for parents of LGBT people. Love your child.”
He admits that his passion for activism comes from his upbringing as a Japanese-American who was put in an internment camp during World War II.
The actor remained silent about his sexuality until 2005 due to fear of losing acting jobs.
Takei said: “No producer would hire you… the ratings would plummet if the producer hired a gay actor.”
In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected a bill legalising same-sex marriage, making Takei come out to participate in protest.