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A compendium of queer people in the 19th and 20th centuries // Drawn and researched by Michele Rosenthal

George  Takei

George Takei 1937to

Actor, human rights activist, and internet celebrity, best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek series and subsequent films. Some of his earliest memories are of the internment camp where he was forced to live with his family from ages four to eight. The otherness he felt as a Japanese-American was only compounded when he realized he was also gay. After some success in acting, he was contacted by Gene Roddenberry, who cast him as the helmsman Lieutenant Sulu on the USS Enterprise. Star Trek went on to become a cult phenomenon, with Takei making frequent appearances at Star Trek conventions around the world. Beyond acting, Takei was a member of the board responsible for the Los Angeles subway system, and a founder of the Japanese American National Museum. He came out publicly in 2005, in response to governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of same-sex marriage, and has been an outspoken and celebrated gay rights activist ever since. He and his partner, Brad Altman, were married in 2008 after having been together for 21 years.

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