For most of his adult life, George Takei had to hide his sexuality to protect his career as an actor. He came out when he was 68 years-old and, contrary to his fears, his work and his life have since blossomed.
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/george-takei-coming-out-story
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Transcript - I was closeted for most of my life, my adult life. I wanted to be an actor, which alone, just that alone was, some people thought, a crazy aspiration to have because I am Asian and Asians, first of all, don't have many opportunities to get cast. Plus the fact that there were stereotypes that we were saddled with. Either the cold heartless killer, the inscrutable person that's got something always going on in the back of his mind leading to suspicion that we could be spies, or the servile, the client obsequious or the buffoon, all very unattractive stereotypes. So why I would go into acting was something that, well I'm the black sheep of the family. My parents thought it was absolutely crazy but they knew how passionate I was. And to get cast with first this ethnic barrier, hurdle for me to cross, I didn't want to add another one of being gay. Gay people were not cast, or if they were exposed as gay their careers faded. I remember when I was a teenager there was a very good-looking handsome actor named Tab Hunter who was a contract actor with Warner Bros. and almost every other movie coming from Warner Bros. starred Tab Hunter. He was the heartthrob of America until Confidential exposed him as being gay and eventually he disappeared. That was an object lesson for me. And so I was closeted. And my career was making progress and so I did everything to protect my career, which meant having my guard up all the time. Being careful about the pronouns I used. Denying a good portion of who I was. It was a very uncomfortable way to live except that when you're doing it it becomes a part of your normal existence. I lived that uncomfortable existence as what I thought was going to be my life. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/7CezoN.
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