George Takei

Much has changed for actor, activist and social media icon George Takei in the 50 years since Star Trek first hit the air. Takei painted a picture of his life for students, faculty, staff and community members at CSUN’s VPAC in a special evening lecture Nov. 15. Throughout his life, Takei has been an outspoken advocate for various political issues and human rights. However, as a young TV actor playing Mr. Sulu in the 1960s, Takei was not free to speak out about the issue closest to him – gay rights. “Through all those years of activism, I was silent on the one issue that was very personal to me, that was organic to me,” Takei said. Takei knew he was “different” at a young age, he said, but was unable to come out publicly as it would have endangered his career. “I was pursuing an acting career, a very visible public career, and I knew that I could not have that career if it was known that I felt the way I did,” Takei said. “It’s a double life, and it is very, very difficult living that double life. You’re constantly aware of people that could expose you.”