Saturday, October 29, 2005

No Trek fan could have seen this coming...


The only question I have is: Why did George Takei wait so long to come out, given that he's 68 and has been with his partner for 18 years? Yes, there's still a lot of homophobia in this country, but the situation has gotten arguably much better than it was even a decade ago.

6 example(s) of insolence returned:

At 10/29/2005 1:29 PM, Blogger ebohlman said...

Probably because it was a mere formality; it's been fairly common knowledge for quite some time.

I'm of the not-necessarily-popular opinion that if there ever was a time when it was important for gay celebrities to come out via mass media, it's come and gone. The usual arguments in favor are that it promotes acceptance and provides a role model for youth, but I think they fall apart under close scrutiny. The problem is that celebrities' lives are so remote from most people's everyday existence that ordinary people tend to mentally file them in the "not like us" folder. Acceptance really comes about when straight people start to see gay people (actually, this tends to work with any majority/minority pairing) as members of their own communities (as defined broadly and purely geographically) who are more like them than unlike them. Celebrities don't fit the bill here except in celebrity circles themselves, since only people close to them truly *know* them; to the extent that the general public claims to know them, it's a phony sort of aquaintance that's really more of an infatuation with an image. People are so good at compartmentalization that it's not at all uncommon for them to be completely cool with celebrities being gay yet uncomfortable with the idea that their friends, neighbors, or family members could be (this is similar to the "northern liberal" effect where support for the civil rights of black people was a function of their geographic distance).

That said, I do have a problem with celebrities who are genuinely closeted, i.e. who take active steps to prevent their true sexuality from being publicly known (e.g. having a same-sex partner but always making sure to be seen with "escorts" of the opposite sex at events) or who hide it from people who are truly close enough to them that they should know it, or who make homophobic statements in public.


At 10/29/2005 1:31 PM, Blogger ebohlman said...

Oops, that should have been "defined broadly and *not* purely geographically."


At 10/29/2005 5:37 PM, Blogger Ahistoricality said...

Well, those of us who don't follow the gossip columns, who are Trekkies instead of Trekkers, weren't expecting it. Honestly, odds are that someone was going to be.

Why did he wait so long? Why do we blog anonymously?


At 10/30/2005 1:37 AM, Blogger Socialist Swine said...

It sounds like I'm the only person who never caught on to the fact that George Takei is gay.... Now it makes sense why he seemed so confused when The Daily Show asked him if he was upset that his agent didn't get him a part in "Young Wet Bitches".

-Socialist Swine


At 10/30/2005 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who Knew?


At 10/30/2005 8:37 PM, Blogger Greg P said...

It may have simply been related to work. Let's face it, what other production has he had a part in?

The prospect of not being asked to do a Star Trek movie (there was never any suggestion that homosexuality existed in the future, though there certainly were some asexual things and nonsexual existences) may have been a strong impetus to keep a lid on it. It's hard to know what goes on in the background of making casting decisions.


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