It’s Day 16 – Oh, my! It’s George Takei (1937 – ).
Best known for his acting role as Hikaru Sulu in the original series of Star Trek, George Takei is an American actor, director, author, and activist.
He is a proponent of LGBT rights and active in state and local politics, apart from his continued acting career. Born in 1937, as a child Takei experienced at first hand the segregation and internment of Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor and has since campaigned for improved human rights and Japanese-American relations, winning several awards and accolades, including for his work with the Japanese American National Museum.
Takei is gay, a fact he revealed publicly in 2005 in a magazine interview, in response to the California governor’s veto of a proposed same-sex marriage bill in the state. Prior to this, Takei’s sexuality had been widely known amongst his Star Trek colleagues and the show’s fans, and from the 1970s on he was openly active in LGBT organisations. He married Brad Altman, his partner of 18 years, in 2008.
In June 2012, the American Humanist Association gave Takei the LGBT Humanist Award, and in May 2014 the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation honoured him with the GLAAD Vito Russo Award, presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.
In 2014, Takei spoke up in defence of a Miss America winner who was suffering racial abuse based on her Indian heritage. He wrote: “In Star Trek we have this creed: ‘Infinite diversity in infinite combinations’. That’s what Starfleet was all about.”
(Oh, and he also has an asteroid named after him.)