Appearing Monday on NPR's Fresh Air, actor George Takei described speaking out for LGBT rights for the first time as a gay man as “liberating.”

Takei, who is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, is currently promoting a documentary on his life titled To Be Takei.

When host Terry Gross asked how it felt to speak out on LGBT rights for the first time as a gay man after coming out in 2005, Takei said that he feared the decision would end his career.

“It was liberating. It was so freeing, but at the same time I was prepared for my career to go on the downward, but the polar opposite happened – it has blossomed,” Takei said. “I was invited to do guest appearances ... as gay George Takei [on various shows such as] Will & Grace or The Big Bang Theory. I got the invitation from Howard Stern to be his official announcer, which [Brad Altman] and I talked about, too.”

To Be Takei runs exclusively on DIRECTV through August 5. The film opens in limited release on Friday, August 22. It will also be available the same day on iTunes and other VOD sites.

(Watch the film's trailer.)