Read @ Wissox post entitled “Please”
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I just love George Takei.
He appears a man of tremendous character.
He is a credit to men.
He is a credit to gay men.
He is a credit to human beings.
Why do I think so much of him?
First, George commented to the press with amazing grace, reason and loyalty under significant pressure shortly after the last Star Trek movie premiered. The young director, out of obvious love and respect for George, put in a very brief shot suggesting George’s character of Sulu was gay, as George, too, is gay. No doubt the director expected George, who had spoken out honorably and justly on behalf of gay men, to be pleased at the insert that was supposed to be a sort of surprise homage to George. But when a reporter asked him about it, George said that though he understood the director’s intention, he was actually disappointed that it had been done. George said that he felt a deep loyalty to Gene Roddenberry, and to his vision of Star Trek, something that went far beyond the issue of sexual preferences. He said Roddenberry had always envisioned Sulu as heterosexual and that George had felt honored that Roddenberry, who had known George was gay, believed in George’s acting ability, and was unprejudiced about George’s sexual preferences, and wanted George to make being Japanese okay again in American television. Sometimes persons forget that, while George was a Japanese American, he was playing a completely positive, Japanese good guy, something not only unusual in American television and film in the early 1960s, but still today.
Second, despite being a man of great dignity and seriousness, he has had the courage to make fun of his own gayness in a way that I believe heterosexual persons are also able to make fun of their hetero-ness. This to me did our culture a great, great service. Prejudice has never really been overcome until a person can fully be who they are, and express themselves in all the similar ways the segment of the culture NOT victimized by prejudice, is allowed to behave.
I have known many, many gay men over the years. I have always felt comfortable around gays, probably because while I was still a fairly clean slate as a young man, I was trained for my first job by a gay woman, who was something of a mentor for too short a while. Nor have I felt their stereotypical mannerisms any more or less ridiculous, nor anymore or less superficial than those my heterosexual acquaintances. But I think if I could have known George personally when I was starting out, at least the elements–serious and playful–of George that he has come to share with the public the last 15 years, I think I could have been a better colleague, neighbor and friend to the gay men I have known. I can’t quite explain it, but i think I could have had a lot more fun and laughs, and more honest talks, with some of them than I did.
In the next life.