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“Uncle” George Takei admitted he “regrets” not being a father. Then the internet responds.

George Takei
Photo: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr

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.”

Related: #TransMenAreMen is trending on Twitter & it couldn’t be more heartwarming

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.

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.

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.

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