Looking back at his life since coming out gay in 2005, actor George Takei has called the changes “surreal.”

The 77-year-old Takei, who is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, has said he was prompted to come out by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of a gay marriage bill. Three years later, he married Brad Altman in California.

Speaking to Edge on the Net, Takei called being out a “dramatic, amazing, almost surreal experience.”

The State Department sent me on a two-week speaking tour through South Korea and Japan, and I ended up being honored at a reception hosted by the American ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy,” Takei said. “At that reception, one of the guests was the First Lady of Japan, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mrs. Akie Abe. She told me that she had ridden on a float in Tokyo's Rainbow Pride just the week before. Can you believe that someone like the First Lady of Japan rode in the Pride Parade?”

And then go back to 2005, when both houses of the California Legislature passed a landmark marriage equality bill. Massachusetts had marriage equality at that time, but it came through the courts … so for the first time, the legislature had legalized marriage equality, and the bill went to the desk of the governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he vetoed it. When the press interviewed him, he kept saying in this robotic tone, 'I have no problem with marriage equality, but I vetoed it.' And later on we learn that, at that time, he was carrying on with his housekeeper under his wife Maria Shriver's nose!”

To think, from that time to now, when I'm meeting the First Lady of Japan and I'm being honored at a reception by Caroline Kennedy, it's just surreal to see how much in my life has changed in just nine short years.”

(Related: George Takei documentary To Be Takei premieres Thursday.)