SAN FRANCISCO — Horizons Foundation presented actor George Takei with the Visionary Award at its gala celebration on Oct. 1 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
Best known for his role as Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek,” Takei has been deeply involved in civic affairs throughout his life, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, politics, and Japan-U.S. relations. While he had been out to many people for years, he first spoke publicly about being gay in 2005 after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a marriage equality bill in California. Takei and his long-time partner, Brad Altman, married in 2008.
“Throughout his life, George Takei has come face to face with marginalization — as a child living in an internment camp for Japanese Americans, as an Asian American actor in Hollywood, and as an out gay man,” said Roger Doughty, Horizons Foundation’s executive director. “At every turn, he put his energy into finding positive solutions, whether running for office (he ran for Los Angeles City Council in the 1970s) or setting out on his Equality Trek, and has done so with humor and grace. Horizons is thrilled to honor him with our Visionary Award.”
The evening will also recognize Google with the Cornerstone Award for its work on behalf of the LGBT community and its LGBT employees. Recent examples include adding benefits to put LGBT employees on equal footing with their straight coworkers, participating in the It Gets Better project, giving in-kind and financial support to a range of LGBT nonprofits, and publicly opposing Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
“Google is one of the companies setting the standard for corporate responsibility when it comes to the LGBT community,” said Doughty.
Following the dinner, attendees enjoyed a decadent dessert buffet and casino-themed after-party in the legendary Tonga Room.
Founded in 1980, Horizons was the world’s first community foundation focused exclusively on LGBT issues. Since the beginning, it has provided nearly $22 million in financial support to community organizations and causes in areas ranging from youth to elders, from LGBT arts and culture to civil rights advocacy. Horizons’ grantmaking is guided by over 30 years of expertise and informed by direct community participation. For more information, visit www.horizonsfoundation.org or call (415) 398-2333.