Appearing Friday at The National Press Club, openly gay actor George Takei said that he loves young straight couples, because they'll be making the “gay babies of tomorrow.”

Takei told attendees that he remained closeted to protect his acting career.

“And then I met a guy named Brad [Altman],” he said with a smile. “He was a runner and I was a runner. But he was a great runner. He was lean … then. He was tight muscled and he was handsome. And he was the best runner I had ever seen.”

“I asked him to train me for my first marathon. … And soon we became more than running buddies.”

Takei decided to get involved as an ally when the HIV/AIDS epidemic arrived in the 80s.

“I marched in my first AIDS Walk. I became physically present on the issue. But I marched as an ally – a cloak to disguise me.”

He came out in 2005, after then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a gay marriage bill.

“We were enraged, but we were at home, watching the news. And on the news, we saw young people pouring out onto Santa Monica Boulevard venting their rage on Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we shared that rage, but we were at home comfortable in bed. And we talked about it. And that's when I decided, 'I've got to speak out on this issue.'”

“And so I spoke to the press for the first time as a gay man.”

Takei and Altman married in 2008.

“I'm very optimistic,” he said about gay rights in America. “And I love young people. Especially young straight couples, because they're going to be making the gay babies of tomorrow. And it is for them that we have to be change agents today.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)