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George Takei sees gay pride beginning in Japan

BY MARI YAMAGUCHI
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO -- George Takei said he needed courage and anger to come out as gay and to join the equal rights movement for sexual minorities in the U.S., and he hopes his Japanese counterparts will do the same to make their society more equal.

Takei said he has noticed a movement beginning in Japan, though the country of his ancestry has a long way to go. He said Japanese people need to fight for their own rights and they need to be a bit angry, too.

The "Star Trek" actor also known for his gay and civil rights activism, said he was encouraged to have met with Japanese activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and even some of their parents fighting for their children.

"They have to have courage to come out and share their lives honestly," Takei said. Once they get a ball rolling, more movement would follow, like "a ripple effect" that spreads, he added. "So I'm optimistic. I do think that Japan will be one of the nations that have equality and that too will serve as an example for other Asian nations."

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