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Takei, George (b. 1937)  
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"Brad was wonderful. He was a saint," declared Takei. "It's very difficult when you're dealing with someone with Alzheimer's. And some of the stages were . . . horrific. And Brad helped throughout that. [My mother] was with us for the last four years of her life."

Even before Takei came out publicly, his partnership with Altman was an open secret: "Our 18-year relationship was something well known to many friends and relatives," he wrote on his blog. "Indeed, we have contributed to non-profit institutions and have had our names together on donor walls, on theater seats, and in dinner programs--like so many other couples."

Takei joined the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, beginning an "Equality Trek" speaking tour across the United States in April 2006. In July 2007 he received the HRC's Equality Award. His Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy appeared in support to make the presentation.

In the wake of his coming out, Takei received "a torrent of media requests, phone calls, and . . . thousands of e-mails," most encouraging but also including "the few but inevitable hate letters, Bible lectures, and vulgar diatribes." He took heart in that "the overwhelming majority"of the writers "truly understand the phrase that is the hallmark of Star Trek, 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations.'"

"Diversity working together is one of the strengths of our society," he wrote, "but when one group tries to impose their own particular values on the rest of society by using the law, that is not only disrespectful of others, it goes against the core values of our American democracy."

Takei was elated by the decision of the California Supreme Court in May 2008 legalizing same-sex marriage, which meant that he and Altman, after twenty-one years together, "can have the dignity, as well as all the responsibilities of marriage."

Looking to both the past and the future, Takei recalled the injustice of the internment of Japanese-Americans and the eventual recognition of the error of the policy and apology from the federal government. "With time, I know the opposition to same-sex marriage, too, will be seen as an antique and discreditable part of our history." he declared, going on to quote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy remarks in the landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which declared laws unconstitutional, "Times can blind us to certain truths, and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper, in fact, serve only to oppress."

As one who had long faced discrimination, Takei could have been bitter, but he chose to embrace progress, however slow and partial: "Marriage equality took a long time, but, like fine wine, its bouquet is exquisite."

Takei and Altman were married on September 14, 2008 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. A Buddhist priest officiated at the multicultural ceremony. The couple was attended by two of Takei's Star Trek co-stars, Walter Koenig and Nichelle Nichols, who served as best man and "best lady."

Linda Rapp

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More Entries about The Arts

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arts >> Overview:  Film

Since cinema began, Hollywood has been fascinated with finding ways of representing homosexuality.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Gay Male

Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Bowers v. Hardwick / Lawrence v. Texas

Two of the most significant Supreme Court decisions regarding constitutional liberty for glbtq people are Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

arts >> Frontrunners

Frontrunners is an international confederation of gay, lesbian, transgendered, and gay-friendly runners, joggers, power walkers, strollers, rollerbladers, and sometimes bicyclists of all abilities.

social sciences >> Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

The largest glbtq political organization in the United States, the Human Rights Campaign has emerged as the leading national organization representing glbtq concerns.

arts >> Mapa, Alec

Alec Mapa has enjoyed success as an actor and on the comedy circuit. He is also an activist for glbtq rights.

literature >> Warren, Patricia Nell

Patricia Nell Warren is the author of significant novels about American gay culture that exemplify popular adult and young adult mainstream fiction.


Cho, Alexander. "Passion Play." Frontiers (2005):

O'Bryan, Will. "Beam Me Out!" Metro Weekly (Washington, D.C.) (June 19, 2008):

Shuit, Douglas. "Actor Won't Run Against Roos for Assembly Seat." Los Angeles Times (March 6, 1980): B32.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Takei, George  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated September 18, 2008  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  


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