Boy, George

George Takei shares one of his “biggest regrets”

Takei with husband Brad Altman. Via Shutterstock

Actor and activist George Takei celebrated Father’s Day this year by expressing one of his biggest regrets: he never became a dad himself.

Takei, 84, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on gay fatherhood, and why he never fulfilled his own daddy ambitions.

“One of my biggest regrets was never becoming a dad,” the Star Trek legend wrote. “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.”

Related: George Takei turned his childhood internment into a lifetime of activism

Twitter took notice of the hint of sadness in Takei’s remarks, offering a rare outpouring of love for the actor.

“We would love a grandpa, George! Come over any time!” tweeted gossip blogger Perez Hilton.

“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,” said user @GeekRuthie.

“I love you Uncle George. You filled my childhood with much joy on Star Trek, and now that I’m an adult, I teach my students about you,” declared @Amara_deMachado. “I teach them about your experiences in the American internment camps so that history doesn’t repeat itself. You are my hero on screen and off.”

“George – you are an inspiration to so many thank you!” wrote CNN contributor Shanlon Wu. “Thought you’d enjoy this photo of my folks in late ’50s in NYC – remember your story of having to cross Central Park at night reciting Shakespeare as defense to potential muggers!”

“Happy Dads Day Uncle George!” said NBC Bay Area anchor Rob Mayeda. “Growing up watching Star Trek, you were/are the father figure and Japanese America role model, especially those who found a path into broadcasting, thinking “hey, that could be me one day” you helped raise a great many more than you know TY.”

George Takei came out publicly in 2005 and became a leading advocate for Asian Americans and LGBTQ people, particularly on the subject of marriage equality. He also enjoyed a career renaissance, giving acclaimed performances on stage in Equis, 8 and the musical Allegiance as well as on-screen in Star Wars: The Clone WarsThe Big Bang Theory and Heroes.

And yes, we agree with all George’s supporters: the world and the LGBTQ community are better for having fatherly figures like him to turn to. Well done, George.