YOU will mostly know George Takei as Hikaru Sulu on the 1960s TV series Star Trek, but there is so much more to this amazing man.

His life is full of many struggles against prejudice. As a young boy, George and his family were part of a round-up of Japanese immigrants just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and were placed in internment camps. He has also spent most of his life fighting for gay rights, including marriage equality.

I should be up front and say that I am a Trekkie. Although I’m more of a modern Trekkie, being a fan of the later series like The Next Generation and the recent film series. But I can still appreciate the original series that started it all.

I love when films teach you something and I learned so much about Takei from his documentary, To Be Takei.

I was mostly familiar with his work on Star Trek and his recent cult following on social media. However, in between that he has been very active as a local politician in Los Angeles and starred in many TV series and movies.

Although he is famous for his acting. I got the impression that Takei should be famous for his work as an advocate for various causes over the years.

Being Asian and gay means that Takei has had to fight prejudice most of life, as mentioned earlier. Rather than be complacent, Takei has been out there fighting for equality. In the early 1980s he was part of the Redress Movement to get the US Government to apologise for the internment of people with Japanese background and heritage. Today, he continues the fight for gay rights. I particularly liked his ‘It’s OK to be Takei’ campaign.

Even at 65 years of age, Takei shows no signs of slowing down, much to the chagrin of his partner Brad. He is continually flying all over the US performing and making lectures. And of course, making appearances at comic book conventions.

Takei is a truly remarkable man and the perfect example of how to use fame to make the world a better place.

To Be Takei is showing in Sydney as part of the annual Queer Screen Film Festival, September 17–21. For details and tickets, visit queerscreen.org.au

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