The role, quite frankly, changed his life. Playing the character of Martin Dysart in Equus, George Takei portrayed a polished psychiatrist who battles his own inner demons. It was a departure from Mr. Sulu, whom he had played throughout three TV seasons and six films of Star Trek. And it was the role of Dysart that inspired Takei to announce his sexuality, coming out publicly in Frontiers magazine, a biweekly Los Angeles publication. Takei, 68 at the time, said he had been with his partner Brad Altman for 18 years. “It’s not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It’s more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen,” he said. Highlighting his role as a civil rights activist, he likened prejudice against gays to racial segregation. And he has embraced political activism, taking on Tennessee’s “don’t say gay” bill.
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