George Takei from Star Trek just talked to me about the social security website he’s promoting, but also about his coming out as gay in 2005.
“It was liberating because I had been out quietly,” Takei told me, “but when you’re an actor, you do want to protect your career.
“I’d been out with family and friends and work colleagues, and they were cool enough to keep it under wraps.
“When you have wrap parties, the others bring their girlfriends or wives or husbands, and I’m always bringing a guy. They’re cool. ‘I get it’.”
In our chat, Takei even managed to tie in his fight for equal rights with his social security thing.
“We have a problem with the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “We want equality with social security as well. With an opposite sex couple, if one of them passes, the remaining spouse gets the benefits. We have marriage equality coming slowly. In California, we had it for six months. I married my longtime partner. We’ve been married for three years.
“But when I should pass, my husband will not be getting my social security. [Because of Prop 8.] We have to get rid of DOMA to get true democracy. That’s another reason why I’m doing this public service announcement.
“Today, we have an African American President and we still have this old, antiquated prejudice against two people committed to each other!”
As for Tea Partiers wanting to slash down social security?
“They need to look at the larger picture rather than the hysterical, narrow focus they have,” urged Takei, my new hero.
Let’s beam them up!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 19, 2011