LGBTQ Heroes: George Takei

The gay man who represented in science fiction.

LGBTQ Heroes: George Takei

George Takei is an actor, author, and activist. He is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek.

Early life

George Takei was born in 1937 in Los Angeles.

In 1942, the Takei family was forced to live in the converted horse stables of Santa Anita Park before being sent to the Rohwer War Relocation Center for internment in Rohwer, Arkansas. The family was later transferred to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California.

At the end of World War II, Takei and his family returned to Los Angeles.

Takei studied architecture at the University of California, and then went on to study theatre.


Takei began his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s, providing voiceover for characters in the English dubbing of the Japanese monster films Rodan, and Godzilla Raids Again.

From there, Takei began to build his career, working primarily in film roles.

Star Trek

In 1965, producer Gene Roddenberry cast Takei as astrosciences physicist Sulu in the second pilot for the original Star Trek television series. When the series was accepted by NBC, Takei continued in the role of Sulu, who was now the ship’s helmsman.


In 2012, Takei starred in the musical Allegiance. The show is based on Takei’s own experiences and research into the Japanese American internment of World War II.

Personal life

Takei began publicly discussing his sexuality in 2005.

He is married to Brad Altman.