George Takei Talks About His Pride for Pride Month

George Takei has long been a supporter of the LGBT community and one of its most outspoken members. Ahead of his appearance at State Theatre New Jersey later this month, and in honor of Pride month, Takei sat down with the magazine Out in Jersey for an interview.

Takei talked at length about his childhood in a Japanese-American internment camp, his political career, and his role as an advocate for LGBT rights. He also touched on why his experience with Star Trek fans led, in some ways, to his being a recurring guest on The Howard Stern Show. He said of the show: “I was working for the Human Rights Campaign and they put together a nationwide speaking tour for me at various universities and corporations to speak about coming out. I was getting a lot of Star Trek fans that came to those events, but my aim was to talk about the LGBT movement and the LGBT condition. The people that were really interested in that part of my talk were either LGBT people, allies, or liberals who were open to considering equality. That is all well and good. But we needed to reach that mainstream majority. [...] We decided that it is Howard’s audience that is the mainstream. We like to think that a good number of them are fair-minded, decent people who are at least open to considering things, particularly when they know you are a celebrity. [...] Star Trek helped me reach one mass group of people, and through Howard, I can reach another mass group of mainstream people.”

When Out In Jersey asked Takei what he thinks brings him the most pride at this stage of his career, he said he was proud of the achievements that Japanese Americans have made. He implied that he was proud of LGBT advancements in Hollywood. And he also expressed pride that his father was able to see him be successful before he passed. He said, “I am proud of the fact that my father lived to see me doing StarTrek: the Motion Picture [...] When he saw me working on a feature motion picture of Star Trek, he was very sick. When he passed, he knew that I was making it in my career. So, I am proud of that. My father was proud of the decision I had made that he had, in a very circumspect way, been actually disappointed about.”

George Takei will appear at State Theatre New Jersey in “An Evening with George Takei: Where No Story Has Gone Before”. That’s one night only, Thursday, June 20th, at 8pm.

Alison Pitt