Allegiance more than just acting job for Takei

Musical is about internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II - something Star Trek icon's family endured

Allegiance more than just acting job for Takei
17 September 2012

Star Trek icon George Takei is currently spending his days at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego as one of the stars of the musical Allegiance which he hopes to take to Broadway.

This is more than just an acting gig for the 75-year-old star who has become an outspoken LGBT activist in recent years.

The musical is about the internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II resonates deeply because it is something Takei and his family had to live through.

He was just five years old the morning his parents woke up he and his siblings, got them dressed, and waited to be removed from their Los Angeles home.

‘I remember being in the living room with my brother, looking out the front window and I saw two soldiers in uniforms come marching up the driveway,’ Takei says in the current issues of Rage Monthly. ‘They actually had bayonettes on their rifles, I remember that they glinted in the sun. They sort of stomped up on the porch, banged on the front door, my father answered and the soldiers ordered us out of our home.’

‘My parents had already packed and were waiting in the living room and my brother and I picked up what we could and stepped out,’ he added. ‘I remember turning back and watching my mother come out, she was the last one to leave and she had my baby sister on one arm and a huge duffle bag on the other with tears streaming down her cheeks. To a five-year-old child, being ordered out of your home in this way was frightening enough, but seeing my mother with tears streaming down her cheeks was beyond terrifying.’

Takei went on to great success as Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and feature films as well becoming the voice of Howard Stern’s radio show and having a recurring role on the NBC series Heroes.

But he never forgot what happened to his family and so many other Japanese Americans. He has been speaking on the subject for many years at universities, corporations and government agencies.

‘What I do is speak about my family’s unconstitutional incarceration, equating it to the inequality for the LGBT community,’ he says. ‘I use the barbed wire fence as a metaphor for the legalistic barrier that imprisons gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people.’

He adds: ‘I mean, when you think about it, Japanese Americans lost everything. My father used to say, ‘They took my business, they took our home and they took our freedom, the one thing I refuse to give them is my dignity.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Thugs attack gay film screening in Israel

Jerusalem police arrest a man who attempted an anti-gay attack at screening of a gay documentary in a café
No thumbnail available

Uganda gay teen commits suicide over anti-gay law

At least 17 gay people, with the majority of them being under the age of 25, have attempted to kill themselves over Uganda parliament introducing the anti-gay law
No thumbnail available

California man arrested in slaying of trans woman

Police are not treating the murder as a hate crime
No thumbnail available

Sir Patrick Stewart’s response to The Guardian mistakenly saying he’s gay is priceless

Sir Patrick Stewart has taken to Twitter to respond to a Guardian columnist mistakenly reporting he is gay with a series of funny tweets after he tweeted his support for actress Ellen Page coming out
No thumbnail available

President Obama raises $1.4 million at gay fundraiser

Says adminstration's LGBT accomplishments are 'rooted in concept of fairness'
No thumbnail available

When she was still closeted, Ellen Page admits: 'I felt awkward around gay people'

Oscar nominated actress had gotten to a point where she 'felt guilty for not being myself'
No thumbnail available

Speaker marks IDAHO with talk on his gay rights 'journey'

John Bercow, House of Commons Speaker, will celebrate IDAHO with lecture on LGBT equality and human rights
No thumbnail available

My gay city: Anthony Duran parties with Elizabeth Taylor and Lady Gaga in LA

The Hollywood local shares some insider tips on how to get the best out of his home town.
No thumbnail available

Gay man thanks Mitt Romney for being a homophobe

YouTube video mocks US presidential candidate and his supporters for anti-gay policies
No thumbnail available

Chinese activist suing Hunan provincial department over refusal to register gay rights group

Chinese LGBTI rights activist Xiang Xiaohan is suing Hunan Province’s Department of Civil Affairs for discrimination after it refused to allow him to register a gay rights advocacy group because it said homosexuality was against Chinese social norms