Iconic gay actor George Takei revealed that he came out publicly because he was livid with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.The 85-year-old Star Trek star told the British theatre publication The Stage that he came out in 2005 because Schwarzenegger, who served as California’s Republican governor from 2003-2011, had vetoed legislation that would have allowed same-sex marriages in the state.At the time, he and his now-husband Brad Altman had been together for more than 18 years.Takei explained that he hadn’t come out sooner because he wanted to continue receiving roles, The Stage reports.“I learned at a young age that you couldn’t be an openly gay actor and hope to be employed,” Takei said. “And I was already an Asian-American actor, so I was already limited a lot.”Takei spoke candidly of regrets he had for holding onto the secret for so long.“I was silent during the AIDS crisis, which fills me with guilt, although I did write checks and checks to AIDS organizations,” the actor said.Schwarzenegger, he said, displayed a hypocrisy that Takei could not stomach.“Why did I come out when I did?
Because Schwarzenegger presented himself as a movie star who had worked and was friends with gays and lesbians, many of whom voted for him, but then vetoed that bill,” he said. “I was so angry that I spoke to the press for the first time as a gay man at the age of 68.”He has advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and Asian-American actors since then, and he's become a fixture on social media.
The octogenarian has more than 13 million followers across Facebook and Twitter. Takei is currently acting in a London production of Allegiance, a musical based on his life experiences, including his time imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp in the U.S..
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