George Takei revealed in a recent interview that he publicly came out as gay at age 68 due to criticisms of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The “Star Trek” actor came out in 2005 in response to Schwarzeneggar vetoing a bill that legalized same-sex marriage,” HuffPost reported. The former governor cited that it “simply [added] confusion to a constitutional issue.”
“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,” Takei told The Stage. “I was so angry that I spoke to the press for the first time as a gay man at the age of 68.”
Takei had reportedly been with his husband Brad Altman for 18 years but did not reveal his sexuality until then. He stated that bias in the entertainment industry contributed to this wait.
“I learned at a young age that you couldn’t be an openly gay actor and hope to be employed,” Takei told The Stage. “And I was already an Asian-American actor, so I was already limited a lot. To this day, there are big Hollywood actors who are not out in order to protect their careers.”
Takei previously spoke out against Schwarzeneggar in 2006 after the veto, The Progressive Magazine reported.
“When he betrayed them and played to the narrowest, most reactionary, conservative segment of his base and vetoed that bill I felt I needed to speak out,” Takei said. “And in order for me to do that, I felt my voice needed to be authentic.”
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