The latest episode of Philly-produced radio talk show Fresh Air finds host Terry Gross chatting with legendary gay advocate George Takei. It’s a good listen. The Star Trek alum delves into his reasons for not coming out until he was 68 years old, his years in a Japanese internment camp, and how he transitioned into becoming one of our most outspoken celebrity champions for gay rights. A blip about his coming out:
It was liberating. It was so freeing, but at the same time I was prepared for my career to go on the downward, but the polar opposite happened—it has blossomed. I was invited to do guest appearances … as gay George Takei [on various shows such as] Will & Grace or The Big Bang Theory. I got the invitation from Howard Stern to be his official announcer.
I’ve been on speaking tours advocating for equality for the LGBT community. But what we noticed was I was already talking to the converted — either LGBT people or allies — and what we needed to do was reach what I maintain is the decent, fair-minded, vast middle — people who are busy pursuing their lives and don’t stop to think about other issues.