Just say “Takei”

takei Just say Takei

Recently,  the state of Tennessee passed a backwards time-traveling bill forbidding elementary  and middle school teachers from using the word “gay” in   their curriculums( source: MSNBC).  That is, the word cannot  be used to describe people who self-identify as gay or lesbian.   The original version of the bill literally stated that  no K-8 teacher “could provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.'” But out and proud nerd icon George Takei has taken a definite stance on this issue with his “just  say Takei” idea.

The genial George (aka Star Trek`s Mr. Sulu)  suggests that there is no need for  anyone to feel upset by this bizarre campaign: instead of saying “gay” in everyday life,  simply substitute his name, “Takei!”  For example, you could say you are in favor of “Takei marriage” or “Takei rights.” If your school  bans the mention of non-straight folks in health or history class, ask about “Takei studies.”

Personally, as a Straight Ally,  I`m proud of George Takei for highlighting the absurdity of the Tennessee bill.  In my view, one of the best things about being a nerd is inclusion.  We are  black, white,  straight and gay, and we work in many different professions.  Many of us are open-minded people who embrace human rights in all its forms, regardless of  other political views.  Who better to champion progress for any oppressed group than a fellow nerd?

Related to our interests, there is the strong representation of  famous gays in the sci-fi and fantasy world,  including director James Whale ( the 30`s versions of Frankenstein) and writers Samuel R. Delany, Alice Sheldon (aka  James Tiptree, Jr.), and Clive Barker, to name but a  few.  Alan Moore identifies as straight,  but often features “alternate lifestyle ” themes in his  graphic novels.  There are easily enough connections here for several  volumes.

So let`s cheer GT for taking on the gay gag order for schools.  If nothing else, it has to call attention to the fact that you can`t deny something like basic sexual orientation, and that pretending there isn`t more than one  is a huge denial.  Follow George`s advice and have a Takei old time!

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