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|Takei has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years. Takei came out publicly in 2005. He currently serves as a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project".|
George Hosato Takei (b. April 20, 1937) is an American actor best known for his role in the TV series Star Trek, in which he played the helmsman Hikaru Sulu on the USS Enterprise. Most recently, he played Hiro Nakamura's father Kaito Nakamura on the NBC television show Heroes.
Takei is also known for his baritone voice and deep-throated catch phrase, "Oh my!" Consequently, Takei began recurring appearances as the announcer for The Howard Stern Show on January 9, 2006, after that show's move to satellite radio. In recent years, Takei has been a prominent spokesman for gay rights.
In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay, and has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for the last eighteen years. He said, "It's not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It's more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen." Nevertheless, Takei's sexuality had long been an open secret among Trek fans since the 1970s, and Takei did not conceal his active membership in gay organizations including Frontrunners, where Takei met Altman, along with fellow runners Kevin Norte and Don Norte, with whom he became friends.
"We are masculine, we are feminine, we are caring, we are abusive. We are just like straight people, in terms of our outward appearance and our behavior. The only difference is that we are oriented to people of our own gender." This is said to have been taken from a December 2005 telephone interview with Howard Stern, in which Takei described Altman as "a saint" for helping to take care of Takei's terminally ill mother.
Alex Cho, editor of Frontiers, has stated that the Takei article was initiated by someone in the Takei camp when a close personal friend called the papers to ask them if they would be interested in the story. The friend remains unidentified but according to Cho, Takei offered his story voluntarily and not under any pressure from the media. Kevin Norte and Don Norte, when asked if they were involved in initiating the article, declined to comment.
Takei currently serves as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project." In 2006 he embarked on a nationwide "Equality Trek" speaking tour sharing his life as a gay Japanese American, his 18 year relationship with Altman, Frontrunners, and Star Trek, encouraging others to share their own personal stories.
In the wake of the 2007 controversy over ex-NBA player Tim Hardaway's anti-gay statements, Takei recorded a 'Public Service Announcement' which began as a serious message of tolerance, then turned the tables on Hardaway by proclaiming that while he may hate gay people, they love him and other "sweaty basketball players." This was aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Takei also appeared on the Google float at San Francisco Pride 2007.