George Takei Enchants NPR, Changes My Life

The first time I met George Takei I was too terrified to speak. My brother had to drag me toward the desk where he was sitting, and took on the responsibility to communicate that we were hoping he would sign a photo for my Mum. When told she had been feeding us Star Trek since our early years he let out a great chuckle and said, in that singular, rich, resonant voice:

Raising you the right way!

He was right: Star Trek is a fantastic way to raise kids. The vision of creator Gene Roddenberry is the most potent artistic expression of Humanist values I know, and its quality – terrible special effects notwithstanding – endures to this day.

Takei is an inspiration to me: actor, humanitarian, gay rights activist and one-man internet meme-generator. He, more than any of the original cast of Star Trek, embodies the principles expressed in the show. His personal story – from WW2 era internment camps to worldwide stardom – is utterly riveting, and so well-told. Takei simply enchants in this interview with Tom Ashbrook on On Point. If you have an hour, any time, just listen. Please.

The second time I met Takei, at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas last year, it was as a proud, out, gay man. Openly gay role models like Takei helped me come to terms with my own sexuality. Star Trek helped me define my Humanist values. I owe so much to this man.

We took this photo:

Pwnd.

About James Croft

James Croft is the Leader in Training at the Ethical Culture Society of St. Louis - one of the largest Humanist congregations in the world. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and is currently writing his Doctoral dissertation as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is an in-demand public speaker, an engaging teacher, and a passionate activist for human rights. James was raised on Shakespeare, Sagan and Star Trek, and is a proud, gay Humanist. His upcoming book "The Godless Congregation", co-authored with New York Times bestselling author Greg Epstein, is being published by Simon & Schuster.

  • elena

    That’s a great story. Congratulations!
    PS: I loveee George Takei more and more every day and it’s great that he has such a good influence on people.

  • UsingReason

    Oh Myyy!!*

    You read this in his voice.

  • baal

    Awesome Pic!
    I listen often to OnPoint but haven’t had a chance to get there yet this year. I’ll go fix that immediately.

  • Patterrssonn

    It’s been a couple of decades since I watched Star Trek, but one of my favourite memories is Sulu running around with a foil, half naked and covered in sweat, challenging everyone he meets to a duel.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X