Not keeping it to ourselves, for Takei and others

Today the message below appeared in my Facebook newstream. George Takei admitting that people’s hostile comments took their toll on him. “I don’t care if you’re gay” but… But shut up about it. But… The subjective clause negates the primary. “I don’t care if someone is gay if they keep it to themselves” is the exact same statement as “I hate that you’re gay when you don’t.”
George Takei with husband Brad Altman
George Takei with husband Brad Altman

Many on this page have commented that they are “sick” of people talking about gay issues, or simply “don’t care” if someone is gay and would rather they would kept it to themselves. I find this disheartening.There may come a day when we need not come out of the closet, and need not remind others of the terrible violence, inequity, and ostracism that LGBT people face daily simply because of who we are and who we love. But that day is not here, and more importantly will never get here, unless people continue to step forward and offer themselves as examples, often at great personal cost. I am called “faggot,” “degenerate,” “queer” and “homo” by misguided people every day of my life, even on my own page, but this does not discourage me. It only reminds me of how far we have to go.Once upon a time I was called a “Jap” and put into a prison for four years with my entire family, for no reason other than who we were and who we looked like. It is my life’s mission to fight against the dark forces of fear and intolerance that could ever lead again to such an injustice.Thank you for taking the time to listen. The next time you feel fatigue from hearing about LGBT issues, ask yourself this: Do we live yet in the kind of society where violence, hate and prejudice is not an issue? Until we do, be part of the solution, and stand always for justice and equality for all people.

Don’t be disheartened, George.

“What’s the big deal?” is simply the mating call of the privileged. Like the clicking of cicadas, it doesn’t require our attention more than any other insect serenade. If there were a real question in there it might spawn discussion and understanding. But it’s rhetoric like “Why isn’t there a straight pride day?” Said only to hear its throaty own-ness and the occasional response of a potential mate chirping back “Yeah!”
To nongays:
Yes, it’s possible that hearing about the lives and struggles of others doesn’t fill you with inspiration at their courage, delight at witnessing another step in civil rights history, or even the vicarious thrill of being a cheerleader to your favorite sports team.
"Yay! Gays ten. Haters zero."
“Yay! Gays ten. Haters zero.”
If you find yourself tired of hearing about well… not you… welcome to the human race. There is no everyman. There are many. He and She and Zie and I aren’t you.
Sometimes they’re not me. When this happens I go to one of three default responses:
  • 1) Yay team! See above.
  • 2) Revel in my outsider status
  • 3) Change the channel. Go outside. Do something else. There’s a big world out there and it isn’t all about you/me.

3 thoughts on “Not keeping it to ourselves, for Takei and others

  1. This is amazing … as in I am stunned. Rarely have I seen these ideas written with such skill. I was an English teacher in a Prep school and, without knowing I was gay, a parent said to me (as if it were our secret), “You know, this whole diversity thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Say what, girlfriend? Anyway, I love this Post and I love your blog. Your line, “What’s the big deal?” is simply the mating call of the privileged,” is a true keeper. You’ve made my day. You’re one heck of a good writer! Mark

    1. Thank you, Mark. Your comment made my day as well. Comments like these feed popcorn to the pigeons of my soul. I think “That was delicious! Why aren’t I writing more?”

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