George Takei: Arnold Schwarzenegger helped me to come out as gay
George Takei has spoken in a new interview about how Arnold Schwarzenegger indirectly helped him to come out as gay by vetoing California’s same-sex marriage bill.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Winq magazine, the actor of Star Trek fame discusses how Arnold Schwarzenegger, formerly the Governor of California, in a way pushed him to come out as gay.
He said: “When Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for the Governor of California’s office he ran by saying ‘I’m from Hollywood, I’ve worked with gays and lesbians, some of my best friends are gay.’ I assumed, therefore, he was pro-gay.
“But when the marriage equality bill landed on his desk he played to the reactionary conservative element of the Republican party and vetoed it. Both Brad [George’s husband] and I were raging, our blood was boiling.
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“That night, we saw all these young people pouring out onto Santa Monica Boulevard, venting their rage against Schwarzenegger. They inspired me. I’d spent a lifetime being silent on the issue… now I had to speak up.”
George Takei and his husband Brad at an Arnold Schwarzenneger statue in Columbus, Ohio
Known for his comedy Facebook posts, and boasting 7.5 million followers on the social networking site, Takei says he thinks humour can sometimes be the best way to deal with a serious situation.
“I’ve learned over the years that you don’t necessarily make a point with teeth- gritting seriousness; sometimes tongue-in-cheek puts the issue into the larger context. Hence my response to the absurd Tennessee ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill in 2011.”
On making a video against the bill, which criminalised the use of the term “gay” by teachers, he said: “I made a video suggesting we replace ‘gay’ with ‘Takei’ (pronounced correctly it rhymes) – as in ‘glad to be Takei’ or ‘that’s soooo Takei’.”
And discussing his marriage to husband Brad, he says: “We’re like any couple: we have our occasional differences and quibbles, sometimes darn-right, knock-down, drag-outs. But we have a policy that, at the end of the day, before we go to bed, we give each other a kiss. You get over it, and that kiss will lead the way…”
The full interview can be found in the new issue of Winq, available in newsagents or to download at www.winq.com.