According to the Sydney Herald-Sun: “Cho visited Sydney to promote the third movie in the franchise successfully rebooted by JJ Abrams in 2009, along with cast mates Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Dr McCoy) and director Justin Lin. He said the decision by writer Simon Pegg and Lin to make Sulu gay was a nod to George Takei, who played the character in the original 1960s series, and was a sign of what he hoped were changing times.
“‘I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations,’said Cho.”
The Kelvin-verse Sulu is the first main character in a Star Trek filmed episode to be openly gay.
Update: It seems that George Takei is not a fan of the move. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. He wanted them to create a new character instead. “Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.” He believed his comments to the writers and director meant they would not go ahead and was surprised to learn that he had misunderstood.