At OUTMemphis, we are honoring LGBTQ Seniors Celebration Month with an acknowledgement of the LGBTQ elders who have pushed to make America a place where LGBTQ people have equal rights and are safe, respected, and celebrated.
Every week we will be highlighting an LGBTQ person over 50 whose work has impacted the lives of LGBTQ people nationwide.
George Takei (1937)
George Takei is an actor, an out gay man, and an advocate for gay and immigrant rights. He is best-known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek: The Original Series, and has reprised that role in subsequent Star Trek and non-Trek media. As a child, he was moved with his family to a Japanese Internment Camp during World War II, and is a vocal opponent of anti-immigrant sentiment and political policies that harm immigrant communities.
Takei came out publicly in 2005, but was out within sci fi, fantasy, and Hollywood circles for many years before that. Takei came out in response to anti-LGBT sentiment and legislation in his home state of California, and is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights.
Takei has widespread appeal online, which he explains in his book Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet. He has used his online platform to forward his pro-immigrant, pro-LGBT agenda.