Did you miss your chance to slow dance with George Takei during Florida Supercon in July? Good news: You'll have another chance to bask in the serene, Internet-y glow of Sulu this fall, when Takei returns to Miami for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's annual Miami Recognition Dinner.
The annual dinner, which coincides with the Winter Party Festival, recognizes leaders in the pursuit of equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Takei will receive the 2013 National Leadership Award for his witty, incisive, and often hilarious use of his own celebrity to battle homophobia.
"I am deeply honored to be recognized by this wonderful organization that has been fighting for LGBT equality for the past four decades," Takei said in a statement. "It is a privilege to be part of an event like the 17th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner that raises money for multiple organizations serving our community."
Takei, a gay Japanese-American, first became famous as Star Trek's Hikaru Sulu. But in recent years, his own quirky personality has kept him in the spotlight, particularly online, where millions of fans follow him on Facebook and over 700,000 follow him on Twitter. They'll follow him anywhere -- to the Howard Stern Show, where he's made regular appearances, to Amazon.com, where he sometimes leaves detailed reviews of oddball purchases like an inflatable shark.
But his responses to anti-gay laws and sentiment are perhaps his finest, most viral material. Take, for example, his responses to "fans of traditional marriage," a mix of bullshit-dispelling wisdom coated in nonthreatening humor. (He's also gotten more serious in his "It's Okay to Be Takei" video opposing a "Don't Say Gay" law in Tennessee, and on stage in the play 8, which reenacts the trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage.)
In addition to Takei's honors at the dinner, local activist Joseph Falk will receive the Task Force's 2013 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. Falk may have influenced Charlie Crist in the days before he announced his support of marriage support in Florida, according to the Miami Herald.
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Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.