George Takei took to Twitter today, Father’s Day, and opened up about the fact that he’s not a parent.
The actor is most recognized for his role in the Star Trek franchise. He came out in 2005 and married his husband, Brad Altman, in 2008, and has since become an outspoken activist for LGBTQ people and progressive politics. Although he’s accomplished a lot, the 84 year-old wrote, “One of my biggest regrets was never becoming a dad.”
Takei explained, “In my generation, coming of age in the 50s and 60s, it just wasn’t something very available to gay men, even those in couples.
“But I’m happy I could still be “Uncle George” to so many,” he noted.
One of my biggest regrets was never becoming a dad. In my generation, coming of age in the 50s and 60s, it just wasn't something very available to gay men, even those in couples. But I'm happy I could still be "Uncle George" to so many.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 20, 2021
Takei probably isn’t alone in feeling left out on days like Father’s Day. Luckily, not many have an adoring fan base of his size.
Trans woman and fan of Star Trek, D Ruth Holloway, reminded Takei that he’s “A gay uncle, who’s a father figure to many people whom you don’t even know, and who is *also* an action hero movie & television star, *and* one of the best advocates there is for AAPI and LGBTQIA+ people everywhere.
“Pretty good resume, if you ask me.”
Perez Hilton, Michelle Belanger, and Tara Dublin immediately added their appreciation for Takei.
A gay uncle, who's a father figure to many people whom you don't even know, and who is *also* an action hero movie & television star, *and* one of the best advocates there is for AAPI and LGBTQIA+ people everywhere.
Pretty good resume, if you ask me. ❤️ you, sir.
— ○ ○ ○ ○ D Ruth Holloway (@GeekRuthie) June 20, 2021
We would love a grandpa, George! Come over any time!
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) June 20, 2021
— M. Belanger is vaccinated (@sethanikeem) June 20, 2021
— Tara Dublin (@taradublinrocks) June 20, 2021
Others also took the opportunity to share why they appreciate their fellow “uncle George.”
Star Trek fans shared their children named after or because of characters from the franchise. Out gay and trans people thanked Takei for coming out earlier than most celebrities. People tweeted to Takei that he was a distant but omnipresent source of love for them and many other people in their lives, especially when their parents weren’t providing it.
One person, who lost both of her grandfathers to COVID-19 wrote that they have “been dreading Father’s Day for months, but knowing I’ve got my Uncle George makes it so much better.”
Some shared Takei’s sentiments about struggling with the fact that they haven’t become parents. Others who are rely on being aunts, uncles, or other non-parental figures for the younger generations in their family explained how they came to find their own pride and happiness on days like this.
Other parents also gave guidance to people who haven’t become parents (yet) in the comments.
The result was heartwarming — “Uncle George” has started trending with thousands upon thousands of tweets showing appreciation for the actor and revered figure.
Gay or otherwise, being an aunt/uncle is extremely worthy and satisfying. Being related by blood is not required. Same goes to *having* aunts/uncles. So, Happy Father’s Day, Uncle George & Uncle Brad!
— Ivonne S. (@CleoKitty) June 20, 2021
Another nephew for the family. second name Tiberius, after a friend of yours ;) pic.twitter.com/GDEp78hHV9
— Jonathan Leegwater, MSc. (@JonaLeegwater) June 20, 2021
I am 55, single and straight and I have have never been close to having children. Father's Day is always a tough day because it was always a dream to have children. I have come to terms with it never happening now. Sending love to those not blessed with children.
— Mark Lancaster 💙 (@marmiteboy) June 20, 2021
I had many adults besides my parents (who were great, by the way) who poured into my life growing up. They taught me, shaped me and helped me grow in so many ways. If you have kids like that in your life, this is very much a day to celebrate YOU as well! (Cont)
— JB (@jillybee54) June 20, 2021
My gay uncle meant so much more to me than my dad. So happy Father's day Uncle George. Know you do have an impact on a lot of people's lives!
— Kibby the employed (@Kibure) June 20, 2021
Same here. Being gay back then was about clarifying identity in the shadows
I was also redefining 'uncle' – something I didn't even know I was doing
My niece calls me on mother's day.
— Blaine Bershad 🌈🌊🌊🎵🐝🆘 HR1 #NotMeUs (@BlaineBershad) June 20, 2021
Everyone needs a uncle George in their lives. https://t.co/kl1UU8tIyD
— Andrew Hickey 🤯 (@andrewmhickey) June 20, 2021
Aw George, you’re more than a dad. You’re uncle, friend, some may see you as a dad too. We love you.
— justme GET VAX OR STAY AWAY (@thjustme81) June 20, 2021
You are Uncle George to us all – and I thank you for that. 💕
— This is Farming (@Cbo55) June 20, 2021