George Takei revealed in a new interview with The Stage that he came out as openly gay in 2005 out of anger over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in California. Schwarzenegger served as Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. Takei came out as gay in California’s Frontiers magazine. The “Star Trek” veteran had already been in a relationship with her husband of 18 years by then.
“Why did it take me so long to get out?” Taki said. “Because I’m an actor and I wanted to work. I learned at a young age that you can’t be an openly gay actor and expect to have a job. And I was already an Asian-American actor, so I was already very limited. Till date, there are big actors in Hollywood who have not come out to protect their careers.”
“I was off for a long time in my career,” Taki continued. “I was silent during the AIDS crisis, which filled me with guilt, even though I wrote checks and checks to AIDS organizations. Why when I got out? Because Schwarzenegger presented himself as a movie star who worked with and befriended gays and lesbians, many of whom voted for him, but then vetoed the bill. I was so angry that I spoke to the press for the first time as a gay man at the age of 68.
Schwarzenegger rejected a bill to legalize same-sex marriage that was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Mark Leno. Schwarzenegger said at the time (via The Independent), “This bill simply adds confusion to a constitutional issue.” He vetoed another bill to legalize same-sex marriage two years later.
Visit the Stage website to read Techie’s latest interview in full.