George Takei became famous for his role in Star Trek as Mr. Sulu, but in the last decade, he’s drawn followers who admire him because of who he is—not just who he has played. The new documentary about his life is called To Be Takei.
He joins Fresh Air to talk about growing up in a Japanese internment camp, avoiding stereotypical roles, and coming out as gay at 68.
Here he explains why he was closeted for most of his life:
The thing that affected me in the early part of my career was … there was a very popular box office movie star — blonde, good-looking, good actor — named Tab Hunter. He was in almost every other movie that came out. He was stunningly good-looking and all-American in looks. And then one of the scandals sheets of that time — sort of like The Inquirertoday — exposed him as gay. And suddenly and abruptly, his career came to a stop.
That was, to me, chilling and stunning. I was a young no-name actor, aspiring to build this career — and I knew that [if] it were known that I was gay, then there would be no point to my pursuing that career. I desperately and passionately wanted a career as an actor, so I chose to be in the closet. I lived a double life. And that means you always have your guard up. And it’s a very, very difficult and challenging way to live a life.
Photo by Kevin Scanlon via LA Weekly
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|—||Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. (via conceptnoir)|
1. Shy-secure people: Don’t have a strong need to be around people, and don’t tend to worry about talking to new people. They can socialise if they need to, but they general prefer to be by themselves and to do things on their own.
2. Shy-withdrawn people: Suffer from social anxiety. They are highly sensitive to perceived rejection, are anxious of negative evaluation, and are afraid of doing something embarrassing. They suffer more anxiety than people who are shy-withdrawn.
3. Shy-dependent people: Are overly helpful, accommodating, self-effacing and compliant. They have a strong need to be with other people but they feel they are inferior or “not good enough”. They have good social skills and are pleasant company – but they give up their true self in their desire to fit in.
4. Shy-conflicted people: Vacillate between wanting to be around other people and then pulling back (as social situations are a real source of stress). This group of people experience the most stress and anxiety.
For more information see: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introverts-corner/200909/all-introversion-is-not-the-same
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