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Personality charismatic, baritone spellbinding, smile that dazzles and life that is full of value. Such is the magic of George Takei. He is an outstanding Actor, a social Justice activist, a mega power in social media, an insightful author and a man of elegance and honor.
There are no words that describe his enigma.
To be valiant when hardships strike and to aknowledge their role in building you, instead of complaining inccesantly about them is a life lesson to learn from him. The Universe favors the man who lives well, laughs often and is loved by everyone, and George is one such paradigm. Long years of hard work, focus, determination is what made him the man he is today. His life story is inspiring.
It will instigate in you a new enthusiam for life, it will teach you 'TO BE'. Read along, to be a witness to the most beautiful story ever.
Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 by Imperial Japanese Navy. America was in Hysteria. What followed then was painfully shocking. Japanese-Americans found themselves in a bloody mess. Just because they looked like the people who have bombed their country, they were discouraged off every service. The youngsters of Japanese Native who came forward to help were made despondent.
George says, what happened back then is burned in his head. He was only 5 when one morning, his mother shakily woke him up. She was hurriedly dressing him, his brother and sister. He watched from the front window as a few dressed army men marched towards their front door and then there was a loud thud. His mother came out. In one hand she was holding his sister, in the other was a large bag, tears were incessantly dripping down her eyes. Frenzy was in the air. It was a terrorized morning. The government had decided to round-up all Japanese-Americans at one place. And they were here to load their family into a bus to take them to a camp, as if they were criminals.
This place was located far away from home, a sub-urban in Arkansas. It was brimming with people and guns, where they were the targets. The spotlights following them at night, keeping eye on their every move. George recalls the nights when he used to run from his tent to a nearby tree and a spotlight following him. He jokingly says that, as a kid, he used to find them very kind at heart as they would light the place for him to pee!
When they left camp, they had nothing. They were penniless.George was 8. His parents worked had night and day to feed their children. His first home was at skid row. It was indeed terrifying. He recounts one incident where a drunk man, falls in front of their temporary shelter and pukes. Disgusted, his sister asked his mother, "When will we go home?" The barbed wire fences were a better and plausible home to them.
Things got better when George entered teenage. The hard work of his parents paid off. They now had a place to call 'Home.' It were days when all teenagers would talk about their crushes. George says, "Everyone around me was saying things like, Sally is cute or Monica is hot, but what really got me excited was Bobby!" With a laughter he continues, "is this what my life is going to be, pretending something that I am not?" He was very sure of his sexual preference, but was society ready to accept it? He admits that as you grow up, you find out that there are more people like you and that you are not alone.
It was very tough for Asians at that time, to secure a role in a serial or movie, but George did. His heavy yet intriguing baritone, his physique and unparalleled acting skills, secured him mainstream roles. He recalls,"Back in the 60's, you can not peruse an acting career if it were known that you were Gay." But then something happened, that was an eyeopener for him. At a news stand, his eyes got laid on this newsletter. He learned about the Mattachine Society. They were the first ever pioneers, who were fighting for equality and Justice. He was inspired by their approach.
Stonewall Inn, was a gay bar in New York. It was a very happening place and George was a regular visitor. Raids were a very common affair back then, even in the Bar you had to had your guard up. And for George, he should never be seen in a Bar like that, or it meant the end of his acting career. He says that "it meant suicide". He recollects this incident where the patrons of the Stonewall inn, during a raid were furious.'They were not going to 'take it anymore.' So, when the Police came in, they started throwing things on them and forced them to retreat. For him he says, "It was stirring and inspiring."
But George still had his acting career to protect. He says, "I wanted to be an actor. " This dilemma of 'To be or not be' continued in his life for a very long time.
He says, "Coming out is not easy. It's not like opening a door and stepping out." He admits, that it takes a lot of courage to come out. His father was no more, but his mother valued his choice and that gave him conviction.
"I was a runner and Brad was an outstanding runner", says George. To get to know Brad more closely, George asked him to train him for his very first Marathon. And then, Brad became more to him, than a trainer. They fell in love.
People around George knew about his relationship with Brad, but he and Brad as couple were not 'Public' yet.
In 2005, both the houses of the California Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Bill. All that was needed now was Arnold Schwarzenegger signature on the bill. But he vetoed that Bill.
Youth in multitude, rebelled. They were furious. It was years after the Stonewall Inn incident, but it was happening again. It was the beginning of a much needed uprising. And so, George and Brad decided that it was time to come out. He said, "He spoke for the first time, as a gay man."
The response of the public when they came out was overwhelming. George and Brad gained support and love beyond imagination. People in multitude came forward to embrace George and Brad as a couple.
George feared this as the end of his career whereas, his career opportunities expanded and he was cast in guest roles as 'George Takei'. He thought that by living the 'Double Life' he was protecting his career. But this kind of appreciation changed his life.
The Marriage Equality Bill passed and George and Brad Takei got married in 2008. "That was one of the Happiest moments in my Life", says George looking absolutely Delighted.
He thought that world he is living in isn't free, it is full of constraints, that he, would never be able to live the way he wants. But that changed. He says, "we all have that strength" and the ability to change the course of events in our favor. You never leave hopes when the future is overcast. You have to find that strength in yourself. And there are people who will love you for your strength. This august, a documentary on George Takei called 'To be Takei', was released and loved by his fans all over the world.