Zachary Quinto may be as openly gay as George Takei, but that doesn’t mean that people are necessarily paying him as much attention as they are Takei. Despite the fact that Quinto plays Spock in the new Star Trek incarnation, Takei gets a lot of attention probably because of the overall struggles he went through to be openly gay.
Takei recently sat down with Huffington Post and was asked “With Zachary Quinto playing the character Spock in the new ‘Star Trek’ movies and being an openly gay actor, did you ever consider coming out during your time in the original ‘Star Trek’ series of TV shows and films? Did the ‘Star Trek’ cast and crew know you were gay? Were they accepting?”
Takei responded that:
Some of the cast and creatives were aware that I was gay, and I did, on occasion, bring a male date to parties. “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry was aware of my sexual orientation and very supportive. That was the extraordinary thing about “Star Trek.” That we were a diverse crew of people representing so many colors, backgrounds and heritages. That was the promise of the future. And, now, in the J.J. Abrams reboot, an openly gay actor is playing a Vulcan in love with an African American. I’m not really surprised by this. “Star Trek” taught us to look ahead to a time where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream was fulfilled. Being a part of that vision was — and has remained — a tremendous honor.
Roddenberry actually admitted to being homophobic for a long time saying in 1991 not long before he died that “My attitude toward homosexuality has changed. I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. I was never someone who hunted down ‘fags’ as we used to call them on the street. I would, sometimes, say something anti-homosexual off the top of my head because it was thought, in those days, to be funny. I never really deeply believed those comments, but I gave the impression of being thoughtless in these areas. I have, over many years, changed my attitude about gay men and women.”
Right up into the series Star Trek: Enterprise, homosexuality was a topic rarely covered. David Gerrold, the writer of “The Trouble With Tribbles” did write an episode that included a gay couple and was broadly about HIV/AIDS, but it was never produced. That issue was revisited in Enterprise with a disease carried by Vulcans.
The rest of the rather lengthy interview can be read here.