Mr. Sulu had a secret...

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  1. Abbey Normal

    Abbey Normal Senior Member

    Jul 9, 2005
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    By Joal Ryan
    Fri Oct 28, 3:43 PM ET

    George Takei has boldly gone where no Star Trek star has gone before: He's come out.

    In so many words.

    "You know, it's not really coming out," Takei says in the Nov. 22 issue of the Los Angeles-based gay and lesbian magazine Frontiers ( "It's more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen."

    In the interview, Takei, forever Mr. Sulu of the U.S.S. Enterprise, notes that he has been "open" about his homosexuality for years--to family, and to friends. "But I have not talked to the press," he says. "In that sense, maybe that's another opening of the corridor there."

    Frontiers editor Alexander Cho says Takei's camp initiated the interview with a phone call from a close friend who said the Trek icon, at 68, was ready to talk publicly about his private life.

    "I think it's very important," Cho says of Takei's disclosure. "We know his influence far beyond Star Trek."

    Key to the story, says Cho, who conducted the interview, is that, in the age of the gay marriage debate, Takei offers "positive images of gay couples." The actor has been in a relationship with Brad Altman, heretofore identified as "my manager" on Takei's Website, for 18 years.

    When the time came for Takei to do the interview, Cho says, the sci-fi legend was "most definitely comfortable."

    In the magazine, Takei likens going public with his sexuality to overcoming the "shame" he felt for having lived in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

    "I didn't want to talk about being in an internment camp," Takei says. "They would ask me, where was I? I would say I was far away...But I never went into details."

    According to Takei, his attitude changed when he learned what normal was.

    "The large popular normality is that rigid, constrained normality," Takei says in Frontiers. "But there's another natural normality. And you come to realize, 'This is who I am. And by gum, I'm not going to let it be a constraint!'"

    In the interview, Takei takes a swipe at fellow Hollywood denizen turned California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Takei calls the Terminator a "dangerous politician" for his recent veto of a state gay marriage bill.

    Takei faced challenges of the intergalactic variety as the Enterprise's navigator on the original 1966-69 TV series. He went on to appear in the first six big-screen Trek movies.

    Last seen in a Starfleet uniform on a 1996 episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Takei currently is starring on the Los Angeles stage in Equus.

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